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The moment Joanne Milne, 39, of Gateshead, England heard for the first time in her life was captured on video and has been seen by millions. She burst into tears as she realized that the cochlear implants worked.
Milne suffers from a rare disease called Usher syndrome, which also took her sight in her mid-20s. But she recently had cochlear implants put in at the University Hospital Birmingham, reports The Daily News. The electronic device may not be as clear as real ears, but Milne was just happy that she could hear at all for the first time.
“Hearing things for the first time is so emotional from the ping of a light switch to running water,” she told The Journal. “I can’t stop crying and I can already foresee how it’s going to be life changing.”
Even the hearing the simplest sounds has made her happy. “Over the last 48 hours hearing someone laughing behind me, the birds twittering and just being with friends,” she said. “They didn’t have to tap my arm to get my attention which a massive leap.”
Before the operation, Milne asked her friend, Tremayne Crossley, to put together a music playlist, just to catch her up on the greatest songs she needed to hear. The first song she heard was John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Crossley’s list included one track from each year of Milne’s life, including Paul McCartney & Wings’ “Silly Love Songs,” a live version of Bruce Springsteen’s “She’s The One,” Nirvana’s “No Apologies,” Steely Dan’s “Peg” and Nine Inch Nails’ “The Hand That Feeds.” The playlist goes up to last year with Haim’s “Don’t Save Me.”
Milne is also on Twitter, where she has thanked her supporters.
The video has garnered over 1.29 million views on YouTube.