TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The future of hearing is here. The breakthrough surgery to implant bionic ears is happening at Tampa General Hospital, where one Tampa native heard the voices of his family for the very first time.
D.C. Goutoufas went completely deaf at the age of four years old. For more than four decades, he’s been on a journey to hear again.
Up until now, D.C. has relied only on reading lips and has lived a rich life with a career and loving family. More recently, he has focused his journey on one special mission.
“He wants to hear his daughter’s voice,” said Katie Goutoufas, D.C.’s wife.
News Channel 8 has been alongside D.C. on his journey, starting with his bionic ears implanted at TGH, to now, when Dr. Kayla Wilkins of Tampa Bay Hearing and Balance Center, activated the cochlear implants.
Now, weeks after his surgery, the 47-year-old Tampa man’s dream finally came true.
“I love you,” 17-year-old Olivia Goutoufas told her father. Those were the very first words D.C. exchanged with his daughter. After, his wife and entire family packed the room during the major milestone in his life.
“You have been deaf since you were four. This is a big deal,” said Dr. Wilkins as she looked into her patient’s eyes.
Goutoufas will have to continue to work with technicians at Tampa Bay Hearing and Balance Center, as it takes two years for a patient to feel the full affects of the breakthrough device.