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National Institutes of Health
For a 3-year-old boy, a risky operation may mean a chance to hear
For a 3-year-old boy, a risky operation may mean a chance to hear

Auguste is 3 years old, a charmer with big blue eyes, long lashes and a playful smile. He's wearing a T-shirt that says "Make some noise" and fiddling with his Etch A Sketch in a hospital exam room. But when a doctor reaches toward his temple, he quickly releases the knobs and tilts his head. He knows what they're looking for. Behind each ear, under the skin, are cochlear implants — surgically implanted devices meant to help process sound. But they didn't help Auguste. He was born without an auditory nerve, the wire that ferries sound from the ear to the brain. He points out planes in the sky but can't hear their engines roar. He's never heard...

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