3 young Michigan sisters turn on cochlear implants after having surgery together

Girls underwent life-changing surgery together last month

NOVI, Mich. – Three Michigan sisters who were losing their ability to hear had surgery to try to get back what they've lost.

The Sturm sisters -- Quinn, 9, Riley, 6, and Evie, 5 -- all have a genetic form of hearing loss. In early June, they all underwent surgery at Ascension Providence to receive cochlear implants. A few weeks later, it was time to turn on the devices.

The sisters wanted to wear their Easter dresses for the special occasion. They went to Central Michigan University to have their cochlear implants activated.

Evie went first. She suddenly lost her remaining hearing in December. Quinn went next and Riley was third. After a few adjustments, the girls were impressed with the results.

The moment brought tears to their mother's eyes. Sara Sturm said she hadn't known what she would sound like to her girls.

"When she turned and looked at me, the first time she heard my voice and said I sounded the same, that was a really big deal," Sturm said.

A cochlear implant doesn't amplify sound as a hearing aid does. It creates signals to recreate sounds, bypassing the damaged portion of the ear.

The girls will need time to adjust to the new sounds they're hearing, but they said they're ready and excited.

You can watch Dr. Frank McGeorge's full story in the video posted above.

About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.