The video of Sarah Churman, shot in October, 2011, was posted on YouTube and shows herself hearing her voice loud and clear for the first time after being implanted with Envoy Medical’s Esteem device. The video went viral, Envoy Medical’s sales spiked and Churman and the company shared the spotlight on The Today Show, Ellen DeGeneres, Fox and Friends, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, among others. The story was also covered on 150 local television stations.
Churman, 29, was born deaf and relied on reading lips and hearing aids until she received a surgically-implanted device. On her YouTube channel, Churman wrote, “I was born deaf and eight weeks ago I received a hearing implant. This video of them turning it on and me hearing myself for the first time.”
In the video shot by her husband and posted on video-sharing website YouTube, Churman cries as she hears sounds, including her own voice and her husband’s laughter for the first time as the implant was activated.
During her appearance on “Ellen,” Churman learned that Envoy was giving her an implant for her other ear. That happened earlier this year, and, again, Churman recorded her reaction.
After Churman received her second implant, her husband again videotaped the moment the device was activated. While you don’t get the pure, unadulterated joy that you did in her first video, it is still interesting to see someone hear in stereo for the first time. Churman first describes it as “weird” but really tarts to like the new sensation after about a minute.
According to the company’s website, the implant is the only fully surgically-implantable hearing device for sensorineural hearing loss that uses the natural ear as a microphone.
The implant, which is not visible on the user, has a sound processor implanted behind the outer ear and two transducers implanted in the middle ear to use the eardrum as a microphone, picking up the sounds through the ear canal.