For 25 years, Michael Swartz heard no sound, that was until he recently received a cochlear implant that had been properly connected to the nerves in his ear.


When Michael was just a baby, his mother was working in the kitchen and dropped a big pot on the floor. His sister got a terrible fright by the loud bang but Michael didn’t react at all. This puzzled his mother so she took him to an ear-nose-throat specialist.

The doctor confirmed that Michael was completely deaf, he was just 4-months-old.

His family worked to correct the situation and Micheal underwent two unsuccessful ear implants, aged 3 and 18. It was determined that Michael would have to spend his life, deaf. The nerve endings in his left ear were damaged and his right ear has none at all.

As he grew older, he focused his efforts on swimming, horse riding, fire dancing and even being a model. The toll of not being able to hear weighed heavily on him.

Michael attempted to take his own life and thankfully failed.

It was when he began to settle into his life, that things started looking up. Michael met his life partner, Jordan, at a club while still living in East London. Jordan approached him and signed. He had learned to sign at church so the pair were able to have a conversation right there in the nightclub.

Now at the age of 25, he is a waiter and barman at a hotel in Sea Point. He wears a badge on his chest that informs people he is deaf.

In January of this year, Michael started experiencing a flashing light out the corner of his eye, he grew concerned and went to see a doctor. He was transferred to the Tygerberg Hospital for further consultations and it was here that he had a chance encounter with an Audiologist.

The Audiologist found that the electric circuits in his ear implants just needed to be adapted for the nerves in his ear to work properly. Just like that, the entire world opened up to Michael and he heard sounds for the first time in his life.

Having spent his entire life unable to hear, Michael is still getting used to sounds and learning how to speak the words he has been signing his whole life. He is still wearing his badge but everything is changing!

“I talk less with my hands if I can see that people understand me,”

Michael is now listening to music and the best part…

“I can even hear birds…”

Sources: News24
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens.
Good Things Guy have recently launched #GoodThingsTV bringing you good news stories in a weekly video. Watch this week’s edition below:

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *