There’s never a bad time to watch a video of a previously deaf person hearing sounds for the first time, and that’s doubly true with the person in question is an adorable toddler.
Q’ela Pierce is a three-year-old girl who, when she was born, failed a hearing test and her parents Nikitia and Quaneef have been trying to help her hear ever since.
They eventually decided on a cochlear implant, a surgically implanted electronic device that directly stimulates the auditory nerve. Q’ela had her surgery at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, and her parents decided to capture the moment the medical staff there turned on her implant for the first time.
The results do not disappoint.
The video starts with Q’ela preoccupied with a toy that she immediately loses interest in when the implant is switched on. She puts it down and whips her hand to the top of her hand, befuddled by what she’s experiencing. She immediately starts crying as her parents say her name—the first words she’s ever heard.
Q’ela reaches over to hug her mom, overwhelmed by the joy of hearing her parents’ voices.
After a break to let her recover from the shock, they turn Q’ela’s implant back on. This time she puts both of her hands on top of her head, and her reaction is more measured. She cocks her head to the side and instead of shrieking and crying she looks happy and excited.
Q’ela’s parents told ABC News that she’s continued to make progress since that day and that she’s even started to recognize sounds in nature.