There are few things sweeter than the joyful smile of a baby who is hearing his mother's voice for the first time.
But little Alex Denman's wide, curious grin is particularly sweet.
While most babies are able to hear their mother in the womb by the second trimester and are quite familiar with her voice by the time they are born, five-month-old Alex was born with a condition called bilateral moderate sensorineural hearing loss, rendering him almost deaf.
Recently, Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool shared a heartwarming video of baby Alex's face the moment he heard his mother's voice for the very first time, thanks to a cochlear implant.
Baby Alex was born with Bilateral Moderate Sensorineural hearing loss, making him almost deaf 😢 This is the amazing moment he is fitted with his new hearing aids and hears his mummy’s voice clearly for the first time 😍#amazing #toocute #audiology #technology #ilovealderhey pic.twitter.com/VSk6JauPjJ— 🏥 Alder Hey Children's Hospital (@AlderHey) July 23, 2018
"Hello, it's mummy," said Jen Denman, Alex's mother - and Alex's face lit up almost instantly. The post - which, according to Denman, was only meant for close family and friends - went viral immediately, and has so far gained over 9,400 retweets and 37,000 likes.
During her recent appearance on This Morning, Denman confessed that it wasn't long after Alex was born that she and her partner Paul knew that something wasn't quite right. Alex's newborn hearing test yielded a "no response", and after a second test, it was revealed that yes, he did, in fact, have "partial hearing loss."
The next steps were an MRI and blood tests, according to Denman. Meanwhile, the family has begun to learn sign language, to better help communicate with Alex as he gets used to his implant.
"The earlier you start it the easier," Denman said about using sign language with Alex. "Every time we say milk, mummy, daddy and brother we use sign language."
Denman revealed that in addition to the overwhelming response to the video, little Alex also gets all the love and support he needs from right at home. Upon hearing the news that Alex's ears "didn't work properly", the couple's older son, Joe, was eager to help.
"He's amazing with him," Denman said of her eldest son. She also shared that he told her that he wanted to help "fix" his baby brother's ears, suggesting that he go get a screwdriver, because "that's what we use to fix things."
When asked about some of the challenges when it comes to raising a little one who is partially deaf, Denman was quick to remark that Alex loves to pull out his hearing aids, and stuff them in his mouth.
"We can't leave him alone with the hearing aids," she said. "He chews everything!"