Six-month-old Francesca Jones giggled with glee after hearing for the first time through her cochlear implant at a Toronto hospital.
When baby Francesca failed her hearing test after birth, her parents and doctors acted quickly to figure out why.
Doctors at The Hospital for Sick Children, SickKids, in Toronto diagnosed Francesca with congenital cytomegalovirus, an infection that causes progressive hearing loss over time.
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When doctors determined that Francesca was an ideal candidate for cochlear implants, her parents were fully on board.
Since hearing is tied to meeting early childhood development milestones, Francesca’s parents wanted to act quickly to help their daughter hear.
“It seemed like it was the race against time to get sound in as fast as we could,” Francesca’s mom Julia Tirabasso told Inside Edition.
“And with the help of everyone, we couldn’t have nipped this any quicker.”
At 5 months old, Francesca received her cochlear implants, making her the third youngest patient to receive the implant.
One month later, it was time to gently introduce Francesca to the hearing world.
After six months of worry and uncertainty, the moment of truth had arrived as Francesca was about to hear for the very first time.
Two soft beeps resounded in Francesca’s ears, resulting in a happy, wide-eyed grin and giggles.
Francesca’s parents were overcome with emotion at their daughter’s delight and curiosity as her brain began to process this very new sensation.
“To put sound on is unbelievable,” Tirabasso said, who couldn’t help but repeat her daughter’s name over and over again, eliciting laughter each time.
Relief and hope crossed Francesca’s parents’ faces as they watched their daughter bubble over with happiness and laughter.
They were confident that giving Francesca cochlear implants was the right decision for their family.
Doctors plan to gradually increase Francesca’s exposure to sound as she becomes more comfortable with hearing.
With tears in her eyes, Tirabasso thanked the team at SickKids for giving such an extraordinary gift to their family.
“This is the ultimate Christmas gift,” an emotional Tirabasso said.
“Santa Claus was good to us this year.”
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