Luiz Gustavo da Silva was fitted with a hearing aid when he was just 3 years old. Although he was born deaf, doctors failed to properly diagnose his condition for over a year and a half.
When he first received the hearing device, he was fitted with a cochlear implant in his left ear, which helped him hear for almost six years.
But on March 4, the now-9-year-old’s hearing aid suddenly stopped working. His parents sent it in to be repaired, but the warranty had expired three years before.
His parents felt stuck, unable to pay for the costly repair to restore their son’s hearing.
The young boy was devastated to lose what he had been working so hard to improve. He began to refuse to go to school and spent almost every day “sobbing his heart out.”
“For the past six years Luiz Gustavo has been living a normal life and has been working with speech therapists to improve his communication,” his dad Juliano said.
Not having the hearing aid meant potential set backs in his learning progress. Little did the family know, Luiz Gustavo’s story had touched countless hearts in their Brazilian town.
After a teacher suggested holding a raffle to raise the funds for his hearing aid repair, hundreds rallied behind the boy and raised far more than the amount they needed.
“Once people heard about Luiz Gustavo’s difficulties, many residents who had never met him, got behind the campaign,” teacher Caleny Augusta de Rosa said.
By March 19, the hearing aid had been paid for and Juliano refitted it into his son’s ear.
To show those that donated just how much heir support meant to their family, Juliano recorded the moment Luiz Gustavo’s hearing aid was switched back on.
At first, the device wasn’t working. But with a quick adjustment from dad, the boy could hear again, and his emotional reaction was beautiful.
“I adjusted it and the instant Luiz Gustavo heard my voice was priceless,” Juliano said.
“It still brings tears to my eyes when I look back on how he jumped with surprised joy and gave the thumbs up. That moment reminds me just how isolated he is when he cannot hear.”
The young boy was so happy to hear again, he began to cry. As his dad tells him “There is no need to cry,” he too starts to cry, telling his son, “You can hear, you can hear!’
The heartwarming video has since gone viral, with nearly 8 million views on the first day.
“People were touched by Luiz Gustavo’s response which was heartfelt. He couldn’t stop crying with happiness and his reaction reduced me to tears. We’re eternally indebted to everyone who helped make this difference to his life,” Juliano explained.
Luiz Gustavo and his family have since begun fundraising to help pay for the boy’s bilateral surgery, which will allow him to also hear out of his right ear and to continue improving his speech and everyday interactions.
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