Music to his ears: 11-month-old Virginia boy hears music for the first time

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CLIFTON FORGE, Va. (WFXR) — After months of appointments, testing, and surgery, an 11-month-old baby from Clifton Forge is doing much better.

Going outside is often a highlight of Manning Roldan’s day.

Now with his new hearing device, trips to the playground are more interactive.

“It’s opened up a whole new world for him,” said Noelle Brantley, Manning’s mother.

(Photo: Courtesy Noelle Brantley)

Manning was born deaf in both ears. WFXR News first told you his story in December 2020.

On Dec. 30, 2020, Manning underwent surgery for a cochlear implant in his right ear. Brantley says his recovery process has been smooth.

“I’d say he’s doing really well for being a few months post surgery,” said Brantley.

Play dates with Manning and his older brother Mason are just that more special nowadays.

“He responds to his name, which is awesome, because he’s never done that before,” Brantley said.

And his smile says it all.

“He’s always happy, but now that he’s more in-tune with what’s around him, he’s just lit up even more since then,” said Brantley.

His best day was on Feb. 10, the moment Manning heard music for the very first time. In a video posted by Brantley, Manning can be seen dancing and laughing at his favorite cartoon theme song.

“The theme song started playing, and he just started dancing along to the music, and I could see by the way he was just moving and smiling that he heard it,” Brantley said.

That is a moment she will never forget.

“It was super emotional. I was crying, because that’s something you look forward to with any baby,” said Brantley. “You want to see them dance and giggle back at you when they hear you laugh, and that’s just stuff that he’s never done.

Manning is set to receive a cochlear implant for his left ear on March 24, one week before his first birthday.

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