"I can hear you," Andrea told him, laughing as doctors turned on her brand new, experimental hearing device.
"Like, I can hear," she said. "One minute I couldn't and the next I could."
Andrea, 14, is the first person in the world to be fitted with a unique hearing device that can help people who are otherwise unable to wear a conventional hearing aid.
The Peterborough, Ont., teen has not been able to hear fully since she was just seven years old.
Andrea went through a half-dozen surgeries to fix recurring, benign growths in her ear.
Eventually, she had to have her eardrum removed and could only hear out of her right ear and was left without an internal structure which could support a hearing aid.
But last month she was fitted with a Sophono bone conduction hearing device, which uses a pair of implanted magnets to transmit vibrations to the inner ear.
The device is battery powered and normally costs about $4,000.
But Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children covered the costs of the operation and Sophono, the company that makes the device, donated it.
"For so long this ear of Andrea's has been a pain," said Dr. Blake Papsin. "She's had so many surgeries and really it's never given her any joy. Today it gave her joy. A lot of joy."
Andrea's father Stephen Crowley could hardly contain his joy.
"That was fantastic, she was so excited," he said. "I was so glad to see her laugh and giggle like that."Suggest a correction