LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It was an emotional and life changing moment for an Elizabethtown family. Connor Higgins is two and a half years old. His parents, Hope and Jacob, knew something wasn't right early on.
"When we tried to talk to him, he wouldn't have any eye contact," Connor's mother Hope Higgins said.
In 2016, Connor was diagnosed with auditory neuropathy.
"Basically where his brain waves and sound waves do not link up," Higgins said.
"He's typically developing, except he can't hear," said Dr. Shelley Moats, Open Arms Children's Health Audiologist. "We believe it's present from birth."
"He's been living in a world of silence," Higgins said. "Not knowing his name, not being able to hear us say I love you it's been really hard."
Connor has been communicating by gestures and making noises. Hearing aids didn't work.
So in August, Connor had Bilateral Cochlear Implant surgery. On this day, Connor was at Open Arms Children's Health, a service of Home of the Innocents, to get his cochlear implants turned on for the first time.
"Knowing that he might be able to hear today is awesome," Hope Higgins said.
"I'm excited," said Jacob Higgins, Connor's father.
Dr. Moats walked the Higgins' through how the cochlear implants work. Once his implants were turned on, Hope wanted the first words he would hear to be.
"Connor, mommy and daddy love you," Hope Higgins said.
Connor doesn't know words and what they mean but, he noticed loud noises.
Hope and Jacob didn't want Connor to feel different so, they got tattoos of cochlear implants on their head.
"When she (Dr. Moats) made the loud sound, I seen his eyes and seen him look to see where it was coming from that made me hopeful," Hope Higgins said. "I'm really excited."
Connor has a long road ahead of him. He's going to have many follow up appointments and speech therapy.
The homework his parents have is to make a lot of noise. Hope said they were going home and watching Connor's favorite movie, Secret Life of Pets, turned up loud.