Watch Two Deaf Sisters Hear For The First Time

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Two adopted Ethiopian twins are reaping the benefits of cochlear implants provided by their American adopted parents.  Separated and abandoned in war-torn Ethiopia, the twins’  future looked bleak especially in view of their inability to hear or speak.   Chris and Al Shasteen adopted the pair and added them to their large family. Ruby and Kate underwent the procedures at Oklahoma City Community Hospital.  Their remarkable transformation is caught on video. Careful what you wish for these two look like they have a lot to say! Angels among us, indeed.

Kudos: Nal

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

17 thoughts on “Watch Two Deaf Sisters Hear For The First Time

  1. A good ending and a good start for a couple of adorable little girls.

    Admit it, Mark. You’re waging a War on Cynicism. I’ll have none of that. It’s like you’ve got the holiday spirit or something. ;)

  2. In my dotage I have to listen to a whole lot of stuff from the bride of forty years and I was wondering if I have to go to Oklahoma to get a reverse cochlear job.

  3. Beautiful!! I will rain on this parade just a bit, more just offer a different pespective that I learned about when I returned to school to get my teaching certificate. The class was a diversity class, and on the subject of cochlear implants our professor brought in deaf people oppposed to them. Their belief is they have their own culture. It is not diminished by being unable to hear, it is enhanced. They can live their lives w/o the cacaphony we all experience. They are not “abnormal” and don’t need a surgery to make them “normal.” It was interesting. I see the looks on these girls faces and I know, w/o a doubt, the parents did a wonderful thing for their adopted kids. Having an adopted son, it has a bit of an additional tug @ this big dago heart. This is ONLY offered as giving another perspective. Maybe providing the “cynicism” Gene craves. Gene..just a very good natured ballbust, please believe me. Subsequent to that class, over the past decade I have sought out more info on this “deaf culture” opposition. They have resolve. Being libertarian, I go w/ “to each their own.”

  4. Amazing story and video Mark! I hope any deaf person who has the insurance to pay for the procedure and wants it, can take advantage of this scientific breakthrough.

  5. Having discussed that issue with deaf people, I will complete Nick Spinelli’s point: Cochlear implants are a very invasive surgery, and the results are mediocre. Wikipedia had excellent simulated sound, to let hearing people understand what implant users would have heard instead of voice and music, although I cannot find them at the moment.

    Whether Cochlear implants are good or not is certainly not an easy thing to determine… But what really matters here is that those girls seem happy with it.

  6. nick,

    I grew up in a town with a large school for the deaf. I know a fair bit about the culture as a result and, yeah, there are some in the community who are against such surgery. And to them I say, much like a Libertarian would, it’s not their choice. The girls seemed overjoyed. That’s what matters.

  7. I have alwasy had difficulty with seeing the deaf community as a culture unto itself. To be able to hear, even slightly, in my mind (I am deaf on one side and it is a problem, I cannot often tell where sounds are coming from for instance)is a problem in the world at large. For safety alone, better to be able to hear the bad guy waliking behind you or the ambulance coming down the street.
    I also have a visual impairment and am legally blind in my left eye. I would not consider blindness a cultural issue. I think the two are analogous.
    I also understand not wanting to be considered ‘abnormal”.
    It is a hard issue.
    And wonderful to see the happiness on the faces of these young girls.

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