Largo man hears son for first time after cochlear implant surgery

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A father in Largo heard his son’s voice for the first time thanks to a cochlear implant.

Michael Fuino’s son whispered "I love you" after doctors at Morton Plant Mease turned on the implant they surgically implanted last December.

"That is the miracle of the surgery is I'm hearing things that literally did not exist to me beforehand," said Fuino. 

Doctors believe he was born with normal hearing but was later diagnosed with mild loss at five years old.

His hearing became progressively worse until he was a step above complete deafness.

He wore hearing aids most of his life, but it was never a perfect fix.

His family and two young sons were the reason he finally decided to get the surgery.

"How confusing and upsetting it must be at five and two-years-old to say something to their father, in plain English, that the rest of the world could hear, and I'm not responding or I need to ask them again," said Fuino. 

They were all there, when he could hear clearly for the first time in over 30 years.

"The flood of emotions of pride and happiness, it's almost impossible to explain," said Fuino's mother, Arlene Fuino. 

For the past month, Fuino is hearing and experiencing some sounds for the first time ever.

Like his children playing. And a horn on his son Lucas' bicycle.

Now he has more to look forward to hearing, like his baby daughter on the way.

"Thinking of all those first moments like when you first bring your child into the world and that first cry," said Fuino's wife, Breanna. 

"Those were the happiest days of my life. I remember each moment of that day, but I don't remember that, no," said Fuino.

I love you. They’re the first of many words he'll get to hear from his children for years to come.