For Mother's Day, plenty of moms receive cards, flowers, handmade gifts, or chocolate. Which are loved and appreciated, no doubt — because these are all things that came from the heart given to us by our kiddos. (Or they're deliciously edible. Either way.) However, one Ohio mom received an extra-special gift ahead of Mother's Day this year. And this video of a baby hearing her mom's voice for the first time will make you ugly cry.
On May 7 — just a few days before Mother's Day — 16-month-old McKenna Grace Langley heard her mom's voice for the very first time, People reported. The emotional milestone went down at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. And it was a huge moment, in light of the infant's rough start at life.
See, despite the fact that her family lives in Lewis Center, Ohio, McKenna has spent more than 7 and a half months in the hospital. That's because she was born with a condition called hypoplastic right heart syndrome. It's a congenital defect characterized by an underdeveloped left side of the heart — and it affects normal blood flow through the heart. Additionally, she has cerebral palsy and a condition called CHARGE syndrome. “But also, she has CHARGE syndrome, which is a pretty rare condition, McKenna's mom, Annie, told NBC affiliate WCMH. "Each letter of CHARGE means something different that is a characteristic for it. Heart defects and being deaf are two pretty common characteristics of CHARGE.”
Because of her ongoing health struggles, the first time this baby girl heard her mama's voice was that much more special. Grab a box of tissues and check out the incredible moment for yourself.
“It was an indescribable feeling … just the sense of unconditional love that I felt in that moment,” Annie told WCMH. “The look of pure joy, and you could see the wonder on her face like the wheels were turning, she’s hearing all these new sounds.” She continued:
Hearing birds chirping for the first time was probably pretty incredible for her. Today here it’s a little windy and the rain was coming down when we were walking back from the hospital, and she was just so interested in looking around at what was going on.
McKenna's mom also said that her little girl said "mama" for the first time after the video was made, before a recent surgery. “It kind of broke my heart… I mean not broke my heart, but I had never heard her say it before and it was heartbreaking,” Annie said, according to People. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the first step to a whole new journey.’ “
I don't know about you, but my favorite part of the video is that initial coo McKenna makes — after pausing for several seconds to take in the new sensation — when she hears her mom speak for the first time. (That smile! And her mama's instant surprise/joy.) I'm so thankful McKenna's mom decided to share her daughter's emotional milestone with the world. This little girl has clearly overcome so much during her short life. And McKenna's reaction to hearing her mom's voice must have been the best Mother's Day give Annie could have asked for this year.