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Deaf woman hears own voice: 'I didn't know I had an accent'

NBC Today Show
summarized by Samantha Rakers, staff writer

One of the latest videos that recently went viral on YouTube.com features Sarah Churman, a 29-year-old woman from Texas, who hears her own voice for the first time. Churman has been hearing impaired since birth; she has a rare deformity that the hairs in the inner ear which normally transmit sounds to the brain are missing; this is called sensorineural hearing loss. Even with the help of hearing aids at a young age, she was never able to hear more than vibrations and very loud noises.

She had surgery this past July in which an Esteem Inner Ear Stimulator (claiming to be the only fully implantable hearing device for sensorineural hearing loss) was implanted. This procedure costs around $30,000.

Despite 29 years of deafness, Churman found after hearing her voice that she actually has a Texan accent. Probably her favorite part of the new implants, however, was hearing her young children speak for the first time.

Read more here.

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