Deaf woman hears again thanks to mother-in-law's gift, then Ellen surprises her with huge check

Jul 30, 2018
11:03 A.M.
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A mother-of-two, Sarah Churman, who could hear for the first time thanks to her mother-in-law, was surprised when Ellen DeGeneres gave them life-changing gifts.

Sarah, her husband, Sloan, and his mother, Lari, appeared on The Ellen Show on October 5, 2011

Hearing is often taken for granted by many. But for those who are born deaf, silence is all around them. They would give anything to hear the giggles of little children, the thunder, sound of the breeze, etc.

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Sarah Churman from Burleson, Texas, was one such individual born. Due to the DNA from her parents, the hair in her ear could not be formed. However, her genetic hearing loss could be effectively cured by an implant.


The new technology came with a hefty price tag - $30,000 for each ear. The family could not afford the cost and they knew they needed help.


The three appeared on The Ellen Show where she answered questions about her experience after being able to hear for the first time. The host also had some surprises up her sleeve. 

Sarah had a long list of sounds that she had come to love since getting the implant. She said she enjoyed things that others would not think about hearing, such as music, birds, her husband’s snores, etc.


Ellen revealed that Sarah’s mother-in-law, Lari, helped “the best daughter-in-law” by cashing in her retirement fund, though she was not wealthy herself.

Lari gave $30,000 to Sarah and Sloan for the implant after which the mother-of-two could hear clearly. The grandmother felt it would be worth her money when Sarah is able to hear her children’s adorable voices.


When she heard the details, Ellen said that a family should not struggle “with something this important.”

She then revealed her big gift for the family. Ellen said that Envoy Medical Corporation, the company that made the implants, had agreed to donate a second implant for Sarah to help her restore her hearing fully.

Producing a giant check, she added that the company gave Lari $30,000 to pay her back for her generosity. The family was astonished by the generous gifts they received.