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VIDEO: The End Of 40 Years Of Silence

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6:02am 28th March 2014

Seven words have broken the silence a woman has lived with all her life.

Joanne Milne has a rare condition called Usher Syndrome. It means she was born deaf and lost her sight in her twenties.

But now doctors have fitted new implants - allowing her to hear for the first time.

She was filmed as they were turned on - and the doctor repeated the days of the week to check they were working.

The forty year old from Gateshead has to fight back tears and gasp for breath as her silence is shattered.

She said: "I’m still in shock now. I have to learn to recognise what these sounds are as I build a sound library in my brain.

"Hearing things for the first time is so emotional from the ping of a light switch to running water.

"I can’t stop crying and I can already foresee how it’s going to be life changing.

"I’m so happy. Over the last forty-eight hours hearing someone laughing behind me, the birds twittering and just being with friends. They didn’t have to tap my arm to get my attention which a massive leap."

The implants were fitted during an operation four weeks ago, but she has had to wait for them to be switched on to see if it had worked.

The video has gone viral, getting almost a quarter of a million hits.

Watch the moment it happens here...

6:02am 28th March 2014

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