(RNN) - Joanne Milne has never had any concept of sound. Born deaf due to a rare condition called Usher Syndrome, she spent the first 39 years of her life in silence.
Until the day an audiology specialist at a British hospital recited the first few words she ever heard – "It might be overwhelming at first."
Overwhelming it was indeed for Milne, who thanks to cochlear implants can now hear.
The moment when her implants were first switched on, captured on video by her mother, show a beautiful flood of emotion as she realizes she can hear for the first time.
"Wow, it's amazing," Milne told the audiologist.
The video was filmed Monday. Milne, who also lost her vision in her 20s, had to wait a few weeks after her operation before the implants could be switched on.
"It was so emotional, I could not stop crying," she told the BBC.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham says Milne will now work to learn to recognize the sounds she can hear, something she is already experimenting with and enjoying.
"I've heard the birds, running water, even the ping a light switch. When I first did it, I had to go on, off, on, off. I tried it about 10 times because I had to hear it again and again . It's what most people take for granted, switching on the lights. It sounded so beautiful to me," Milne told the BBC.
Mobile users can view the video here: http://bit.ly/1g8F8LD
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