A 14-year-old teen who was born deaf can now hear with her brain and not by ear. Maggie Gleason, a ninth grader, was born without cochleas, the small snail-shaped bones in her inner ears which house the auditory (hearing) nerve. As a result of her condition, she had no auditory nerve. Maggie was one of the first patients to receive an auditory brainstem implant (ABI) at the UH Case Medical Center. ABI (Auditory Brainstem Implant) is a prosthetic hearing device that stimulates neurons directly at the human brainstem, bypassing the inner ear and hearing nerve entirely.
According to one of her surgeons, Maroun Semaan:
“For someone who has never heard, the perception and awareness of sound is extremely helpful.”
Footage shows the teenager suddenly grinning from ear to ear as her father Frank asks: ‘Maggie, can you hear me?’
Credit: USA TODAY