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Deaf toddler undergoes £60,000 brain stem implant procedure

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A toddler who was born deaf has been able to hear for the first time after undergoing an auditory brain stem implant.

Oliver Bosch, from Dundee, was unfortunately born without any vital nerves in his ears, meaning that he was deaf and could not even benefit from hearing aids, which millions of people around the world use for hearing loss conditions.

However, after his parents raised £60,000 for the little chap to have the treatment in Italy, it has emerged that the youngster has been able to hear sounds for the first time ever.

The procedure meant that Oliver had to have 12 electrodes fitted into his brain so that they could act as auditory nerves. Six of them have been turned on, whilst a further three will be activated when he goes back to Italy later this month (April 2013). The final three will then be switched on two months later.

Currently, Oliver is similar to a 16-week-old child in the womb, in the sense that he can hear sounds but his brain still needs to learn how to process such noises.

Oliver’s mother Jemma said to STV News: "The smile on his face — he doesn't know what the sound is but he's obviously hearing something and enjoying it. It has just been totally life-changing. We can't express how much it's changed everything for all of us."

Mrs Bosch went on to state that Oliver is making noises now and that she hopes it won’t be long until the two-year-old can say his first word.

The Bosch family will be hosting a party for all those who helped to pay for the operation. The guest of honour will be a 10-year-old girl from Newport Primary who was able to raise £1,000. The party will take place at Lyrics Bar in Dundee on Saturday June 8th.

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