“Maggie, can you hear me?” the teen’s dad asked her. She nodded yes, a smile widening on her face.
This was the emotional moment when 14-year-old Maggie Gleason, who was born deaf, heard her father’s voice for the very first time:
Gleason was born without cochleas, the sense organs in our ears that help us hear. Without cochleas, she was unable to experience the world of sound.
Until now, that is.
According to WKYC-TV, the teen got fitted last year with an electronic device called an auditory brainstem implant. The device is said to stimulate neurons directly at the brainstem, providing a "sense of sound" to a person who is profoundly deaf.
Gleason had the device surgically implanted at the University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. In December, it was switched on for the first time.
The special moment was captured on camera by hospital staff.
"I always felt I would have a lot to say to her when the moment came," the girl’s father, Frank Gleason, told WKYC-TV of the extraordinary event, "but I was left speechless."
Gail Murray, an audiologist who was involved in the switching on of the teen's implant, told The Huffington Post that she, too, was deeply impacted by the experience.
“I was excited, knowing that being able to hear sound would open a whole new world of experiences for Maggie," she said. "It was very gratifying seeing the excitement of Maggie’s reaction to sound and the family's tearful reaction to her experience. Their joy was very heartfelt and heartwarming."
Watch Gleason’s incredible story in the video above.