More than 12,000 babies are born in the U.S. each year with some form of hearing loss. Cooper, who is 2 years old, was born deaf, and has grown accustomed to living without being able to hear.

Cooper was recently given a cochlear implant to help improve his hearing. The implant serves essentially as a replacement for Cooper’s ear, along with wearing a hearing aid. The aid is attached to a wire that goes past his ear drum into a net of electrodes. This makes the sounds essentially skip past the damaged part of his ear. It is a difficult surgery that involves installing the wire into bone along with other risks.

While Cooper may not understand all the risks and complications, he does understand that he can hear. He hears his mothers voice for the first time and is overjoyed, to say the least.