JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It may just be science, but to a Florida 4-year-old, new cochlear implants are a life-changer. Nick Bender heard his mother's voice when his cochlear implant was turned on at Nemours Children's Clinic.
Born with hearing loss in both ears, Nick was profoundly deaf by the age of 4 and on his way to losing his hearing completely.
"Today is the day we've been waiting for," said Nick's mother, Michelle Bender. "He had his cochlear implant turned on and it's activated and he's hearing…and it's just so exciting."
Nick and his parents came to Jacksonville from Tallahassee in order to see the specialists at Nemours Children's Clinic for the cochlear implant.
A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted hearing device. The procedure bypasses the bones of the inner ear and allows Nick to hear.
Over the next few weeks, Nick will return to Nemours Children's Clinic to have his implant adjusted until the device is fine-tuned.
"We've become part of a team. They treat us like family," said Michelle Bender. "To him, it's not a doctor's appointment, it's time to play. There are so many fun games, you don't even know you're working toward a goal."