For the first time, doctors are using stem cells to regenerate hearing in young children who acquire hearing loss.
When Stephanie Connor was pregnant with her daughter Madeline, she was infected with CMV – a herpes virus which causes development disabilities and hearing loss in babies.
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While she did lose her hearing, Connor says in an interview with NBC, her now two-year-old daughter's hearing is improving thanks to an FDA approved study which uses stem cells, in this case from cord blood, to restore hearing.
The year long study will follow 10 children ages six weeks to 18 months who have sustained an acquired hearing loss.
Dr. Baumgartner is the sponsor of the study out of Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Texas, says he believes this safe and effective treatment will allow children to hear well enough to acquire normal speech.
Since this study is in the very early stages, doctors don't know yet what effect it will have on Madeline.
But since January, she's started speaking.
"It's definitely worth a shot to give her the ability to hear and speak," Connor said.
Hopefully, she says, Madeline will be making even more progress as the months go on.
Her next check up is in July.