• Charlotte boy with special implant to hear finds voice

    By: Tenikka Smith


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Five months ago, 3-year-old Grayson Clamp of Charlotte had groundbreaking surgery to get a special implant that allowed him to hear for the first time.

    In a new world filled with sound, Grayson is finding his voice.

    Grayson was born without the nerves that allow you to hear.

    His world was silent, until this past April when he became the first child in the country to get an auditory brain stem implant.
    It transmits sound through wires connected to an electrode implanted in his brain stem.

    Within weeks, his mom Nicole said he began using his own voice. Working with special therapists, Grayson is learning cued speech. It is a system that uses hand placements near the face combined with mouth movements to communicate.

    "Every day is a challenge, it's like therapy 24-7, but it's completely worth it," Nicole said.

    More and more Grayson's noises are turning into words and short sentences.

    "He was here at day care and there was a child banging in day care and he heard the banging and looked at the child and said, 'No, no,'" Nicole said with a laugh. "The sibling of the child came over and said, 'You don't tell my brother no.'"

    At the end of our interview, Grayson took a moment to tell the Channel 9 crew goodbye.

    Grayson visits his doctors at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill every other week.

    They monitor his progress and adjust his device when necessary.

    To learn more about his groundbreaking surgery and witness the moment Grayson heard his father's voice for the first time, click here.

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