Forty-year-old Joanne Milne – Jo to her friends – from Gateshead had surgery last month to install cochlear implants.
Jo, who was born deaf, is also registered blind after losing her vision in her late 20s to a rare condition called Usher syndrome.
“It was heart-breaking when her eyesight started to worsen, and although she is okay around the house or pub she has to use Matt the guide dog to get around now,” said her friend Tremayne Crossley, who filmed the clip below.
“None of this has ever stopped her being brilliant fun and a beautiful person, she has mentored so many deaf blind people and is an inspiration to everyone who knows her.”
Watch below as Jo’s implants are switched on, and she hears for the first time in her life.