BUFFALO, N.Y. (WTXF) - Gavin Arroyo will be three in February, but he just heard his mom’s voice for the first time this past December.
The 2-year-old’s mother, Jeni Arroyo, says it took them a long time to figure out Gavin’s complications. But for the New York mom, all that hard work paid off when her toddler received a cochlear implant.
Gavin was born severely deaf and blind due to an extremely rare genetic disorder. The disorder is so uncommon that it has no name, and only goes by USP9X.
“There’s so little known about his condition. Even what we know is in theory,” said Jeni.
The hard-working mom, who works for a local insurance company in Buffalo, started a GoFundMe page a year ago when she learned the depth of Gavin’s medical expenses.
This past December, she was able to give Gavin the gift of hearing.
“As his mom, I’m doing what I’m supposed to do for him. That means I have to figure it out. I’ll always figure it out,” Jeni said.
Her sister, Stephanie Arroyo, was able to capture the emotional moment on camera. In the video, Gavin can be seen suddenly perking up as the doctors activated the implant.
He then leaned in to kiss his mother as he heard her voice.
“It was amazing,” said Jeni. “When it happened, his tiny little response. He didn’t freak out. When he heard me, he pointed at my mouth and it was the most overwhelming moment.”
Gavin’s implant has been activated since the beginning of December, and the family has spent the last month enjoying his new hearing abilities.
Click here to support Gavin on his public Facebook page.