Kids get to experience the ‘joy of sound’ with Rady Children’s Hospital

SAN DIEGO -- The sound of a car driving by, a dog barking or even just hearing the TV are things we often take for granted.

But for a group of children from a program at Rady Children’s Hospital, it’s a miracle for those who have lived most of their life knowing nothing but silence.

You’d never know it, but little Connor Hobson, who proudly sang "Happy Birthday" for FOX 5 on Saturday, is deaf.

“He was born profoundly deaf,” his mother, Sara Hobson, explained. But thanks to a cochlear implant, the 6-year-old has now been able to hear for a year. “The first time I was able to sing him to sleep. It was probably one of the best moments of my life."

Sara says the hearing aid technology has been life-changing.

"Now he is hearing like any typical 6-year-old boy. We can’t get him to be quiet and we can’t get him to stop talking at all -- which is amazing,” said Hobson, smiling.  “It is incredible, it is a blessing every day.”

Connor is not the only one.  He’s one of 400 patients and their families who gathered at Crown Point in Mission Bay Saturday for the Rady Children’s Hospital 11th annual “Joy of Sound” celebration.

Each year, the pediatric audiology department fits more than 600 children with hearing aids and provides services for more than 400 local cochlear implant recipients. A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing.

“They are amazing," said Rady Children’s Dr. Daniela Carvalho. "It truly is a lot of work for them to get to where they are. Going through surgery and therapy, their families having to devote so much time -- so this is really like celebrating all that hard work.”

“It was a really surreal moment. Because he was able to turn around and he went from this kid who could not even be able to hear a jet take off to a kid that (can) talk to you,” Sara told FOX 5.  “I could not imagine one day of not having him be able to hear and we’re grateful every day."

Thanks to modern science and the work of so many at Rady Children's Hospital's pediatric audiology department, kids like Connor can just be kids, and are now able to hear and enjoy the world around them.

“I’m going to be on the news and that is a great news,” said Connor on Saturday, mugging for the camera.