The incredible moment a deaf 7-week-old baby hears for the FIRST TIME - and shares first ever smile with his emotional parents
Moments don't get any more special than this one. A seven-week old baby hears for the first time and rewards his delighted parents with his very first smile.
The heart warming video shows Victorian couple Michelle and Toby Lever overwhelmed with emotion at the 'truly amazing' moment a specialist fits their gorgeous baby Lachlan with a hearing aid.
Now the video has gone viral worldwide, with more than 159,000 likes and 130,000 shares on Facebook.
‘I am so happy that we can share our magic moment with the world,’ Ms Lever told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I hope it can give some other families the realisation everything is going to be okay.’
‘It's such a happy, special moment. My baby’s world just opened up, it was so emotional. Now that it’s gone viral I'm reliving that moment all over again,’ said Ms Lever.
Ms Lever wants other mothers to find hope in not only the video, but from the uplifting update about the wonderful, full life her son is leading - chatting to his sisters and singing and dancing to music.
The tiny cherub in the clip is now a very cheeky toddler, who is adored by his parents and two big sisters, Chloe, 9, and Jessica, 6.
'He is the biggest chatterbox out there. He's only two so there’s a lot is gibberish that you can't understand, but when he’s telling you something, he makes sure you understand,' said Ms Lever.
'I will make sure he can reach his full potential, I'm willing to travel to the moon and back for him.
'It doesn’t matter that his specialist school is at Blackburn, which is an hour and 20 mins away. I will do anything it takes to help him.'
The family are absolutely thrilled with the happy life their son is able to lead. His mother says she is moved to tears when she witnesses the joy he experiences when he hears music.
‘He absolutely loves songs, it’s the most beautiful thing to watch,’ Ms Lever told Daily Mail Australia.
'In the car when we put on music, he’ll try to sing and wave his arms around like he’s dancing.
‘He absolutely loves to dance with my girls, it's wonderful’ said the doting Mum.
‘Lachlan continues to amaze us with his speech development.'
‘We have learnt that Lachlan is no different to any other child.
'He just wears hearing aids which now seem invisible to us, to his family and friends.’
Ms Lever says although she was distraught when Lachlan was first diagnosed, she now loves the hearing aids that are such a crucial part of his life.
‘When he was first diagnosed and I didn't really have my head around the idea yet, I hoped no one would notice his hearing aids. I didn’t want him to feel different.
‘But I love when people talk to me about them now. I show him off, I think they really suit him! They’re just another part of him.'
Mr and Mrs Lever did not know what to expect when it was first discovered that their baby boy had hearing loss during the newborn screening tests.
Lachlan was diagnosed with moderately severe sensorineural hearing impairment in both ears at four weeks old and fitted with his first hearing aid three weeks later.
‘When we first heard of Lachlan's diagnosis, I was completely shattered and cried for 12 hours straight. I was so worried about what the future would hold for our son,’ said Michelle.
‘I thought Lachlan would not be able to talk, make friends and I was worried he would get teased. I now know that whilst those thoughts were completely normal, they are not true.‘
Michelle didn't need to worry with Lachlan saying his first words at around six months old.
Not only is Lachlan doing well with his learning – he is on par with the other children his age and meeting every milestone.
'Lachlan's most recent assessment by (his school) Tarayle's speech therapist showed that his speech and language were age appropriate. We are extremely proud of our gorgeous little boy.'
The Levers found there was a lot of support and information available to help them choose how to approach life with a child with a hearing impairment.
'Soon after Lachlan was diagnosed, we did lots of research and educated ourselves as to what was the best path for Lachlan and our family.
'We decided we wanted Lachlan to grow up in the 'hearing world' and thus decided not to learn sign language but join the Early Intervention Service Tarayle, the Oral Language Centre for deaf children.
'We have received an incredible amount of emotional support and expert advice from Tarayle. But there so many options, this is just what works for our family.'
Photos show Lachlan is always sharing his cheeky smile with the world - not just on camera.
The Levers say early diagnosis has made all the difference for their son.
'We believe that due to Lachlan receiving his hearing aids at such a young age, (we can) feel confident that Lachlan will attend a mainstream school with his sisters and reach his full potential,' said Ms Lever.
'He definitely wouldn't be able to develop normal speech without hearing aids.'
Lachlan's behaviour changed almost immediately once he started wearing his hearing aids.
'He became a lot more interactive, there were more smiles and eye contact. He was vocalising and being expressive,' explained Ms Lever.
'The Newborn Hearing Test is so vital, if it wasn't for the test we might not have picked up on his hearing difficulties for another two or three years.
'I can't believe they could diagnose him at four weeks of age - he was barely doing anything but sleeping and drinking!' said Ms Lever.
Lachlan's mother says she knows how lonely and confusing it can be when your child is diagnosed with a hearing impairment, and admits that she felt 'shattered' at the time.
She hopes parents in similar situations can find hope in the photos of her son and his cheeky grin.
'I want them to realise that there is alot of support and help available to them and it is extremely important that they link into an Early Intervention Service, such as Tarayle.
'Above all, be positive, proactive and spend as much time as possible with your baby and never forget that your child is the same child they were before you found out they were hearing impaired.
'There’s no such thing as a silly questions. Ask them all.
'And remember, everything is going to be okay!'