AURORA – A deaf musician who lost the ability to hear more than a decade ago was given the gift of sound back on Wednesday.
Ten years ago, medication from Doug Lagasse's cystic fibrosis treatment stripped him of his hearing. On his best days he could hear a faint sound whenever it was silent.
"Losing hearing just kind of cuts you off from everyone," Lagasse said. "Losing music was huge. I love the outdoors. Seeing birds and not hearing them," he added.
Fortunately, doctors at University of Colorado Hospital were able to install a cochlear implant to help restore Lagasse's hearing.
When the device was turned on, Lagasse started to hear things instantly. Sure, most of what he heard sounded like a cartoon character, but doctors say that's only because Lagasse's brain is still trying to adapt to the device. After a few weeks, doctors say things will sound normal.
"This is great," Lagasse said. "It's kind of funny. It's hard to keep a straight face with the new little voices in my head. And for the first time in my life, that's OK," he joked.
Lagasse is a drummer and hasn't been able to hear his music for ten years.
He says he's looking forward to having conversations with family and friends without having to rely on reading their lips.
(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)