Sarah Churman is the unlikeliest Internet star. The Texas stay-at-home mom of two little girls has somewhat ordinary interests--she loves to read, watch movies, and attend concerts with her husband of almost 10 years, Sloan.
But on September 26 of this year, Churman was catapulted to YouTube fame due to an intimate, home movie that went viral. She was born deaf. But on that day, she heard her own voice for the very first time. The 91-second video clip brought this viewer goosebumps, tears, and an empathy for this remarkable woman.
When I interviewed Sarah and Sloan Churman at medical offices in San Jose, Calif., she explained to me that the deaf community tends to be divided into two categories: those who want to use technology to restore their hearing and those who try to make the most of life without it. She is very firmly rooted in the first camp and has spent a good deal of her adult life researching the latest hearing devices to come onto the market. In May 2011, Churman heard a radio ad for Envoy Medical's Esteem implant. That set the balls in motion for a summer of hope, frustration, high emotion, and ultimately, success. … Read more