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Deaf girl fitted with bionic ear speaks her first word

September 03, 2012

Emily Small told her baby daughter Evie she loved her every day for 22 months, but the girl never heard her mother's words once.

Evie was born profoundly deaf but it was not until she was 16 months old that tests revealed she had no hearing nerves, meaning an auditory brainstem implant - or bionic ear - was her only chance of ever hearing.

The 23-month-old has Oculo-Auriculo-Vertebral Syndrome (OAV), a very rare condition with no known cause, which affects the eyes, ears and spine.

Her parents Emily and David Small, of Horndean, Hampshire, only had weeks to raise funds for Evie, then aged 19 months, to undergo the implant, or face the prospect of a life of silence.

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