Minnesota girl finally hears singing, parents' voices after bilateral cochlear implant surgery

Ellen Galles
Updated: July 06, 2020 06:55 PM
Created: July 06, 2020 05:36 PM

At one point, parents Derek and Marni from Lino Lake wondered if their daughter Livi would ever be able to hear their voices, song, or any of the sounds most people take for granted.

"She wouldn't hear my voice, she wouldn't hear Marni's...and that was a sting," Derek said.

Livi was born with sensorineural hearing loss. After several months and limited success with hearing aids, her doctors at M Health Fairview thought cochlear implants might help her.

"The concern was that if she continued with hearing aids, her speech and language would not fully develop to where she could understand speech appropriately," said Dr. Kristi Gravel with M Health Fairview.

In April, Livi underwent bilateral cochlear implant surgery at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital. Home video shows the moment the devices were activated, and Livi could hear her mom say 'I love you.'

"It was when she heard my voice and I knew she heard it. She lit up like the Fourth of July. It was so magical," her mom said.

Livi does speech therapy every day. The external piece of her device will get upgraded and traded out every few years.

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