For the first 14 months of her life, Reyn Schadt's world was silent.
"Finding out that she had hearing loss was shocking. I really didn't know much about people with hearing loss," her mother, Courtney Schadt, told local Louisville, Ky., station WDRB. "I assumed that she would have to use sign language and that she might not be able to go to mainstream school."
Reyn is one of about 30,000 children born with a congenital virus called Cytomegalovirus each year. Her parents hoped for a miracle in the form of a cutting-edge cochlear implant -- a small device that connects with a child's auditory nerve and conveys auditory signals to the ear.
After months of work with Louisville audiologist Shelly Moats, the implant was switched on and Reyn's family waited for a reaction. Perhaps overcome by the unfamiliar sounds and sensations, little Reyn burst into tears. It worked.
Reyn has become the latest in a string of similar success stories that have buoyed the hopes of cochlear implant advocates.
In a blog written for The Huffington Post in April, psychologists Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek note that these types of medical innovations have the ability to greatly improve the quality of life for children born with hearing problems but are often most effective if implemented before the child turns 2.
For more inspirational success stories, view the slideshow below: