A video of Charlotte Keane hearing her mother’s voice for the first time has gone viral, amassing 263,000 shares and 14 million views on Facebook.
Her mother, Christy, originally didn’t plan on making the video public, but after relatives asked to share it on the social media platform, she agreed. “I thought, ‘Oh, what’s the harm? I’ll make it public,” Keane told Good Housekeeping in a phone interview. “And then, I think I woke up the next day with a thousand shares, and by Monday it had hit a million.”
Charlotte was born with bilateral profound congenital hearing loss, which happens in one of out every 1,000 to 2,000 births, according to the American Hearing Research Foundation. Throughout Christy’s pregnancy, there was no warning that this would happen.
Doctors originally diagnosed Charlotte’s hearing problems as fluid blockage. “She has very profound hearing loss and is not and will not be cured,” Christy says. “She will always be deaf and we cannot tell what degree of hearing the aids are giving her, we just know she’s showing great and positive responses.”
The family is exploring the possibility of implants for Charlotte that would effectively replace the damaged parts of her ears, as hearing aids can only amplify sound.
The hearing aids Charlotte uses were provided by donors at no cost to the Keanes. Despite their hardships, the family is moving forward and plans to work with a speech therapist to help Charlotte learn how to talk. They’re also considering sign language.
“I had never in my life seen that face before,” Christy says of her daughter in the video. “I’m her mother, and I know the look in her eyes when she’s sad, upset or hurting, and that connection, and that moment when our eyes met and she heard my voice for the first time, that was true emotion from her.”
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