It’s always special to witness baby’s firsts: the first smile, the first roll, the first time she sits up or stands. But for Anna Esler, the moment her one-year-old daughter Ayla heard sound for the first time was overwhelmingly emotional—and it was all caught on camera.
In the now-viral video, Ayla, sitting on her mom’s lap in the doctor’s office during a test of her new cochlear implants, began giggling as she experienced her very first sounds, and her mother couldn’t hold back the tears.
The first year of Ayla’s life had not been what the couple expected. After failing her newborn screening twice, Ayla was diagnosed with hearing loss. Right away, the family began working with doctors at the Cook Children’s Health Care System, a nationally recognized nonprofit pediatric hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, to learn more about what life is like for kids with hearing loss and what resources were available to them.
“Being deaf isn’t bad. It’s just different,” Esler and her husband Will said in an interview with the hospital news blog. after the video became an internet sensation. “We had spent a lot of time preparing…