WHITE BEAR TOWNSHIP, Minn. -- At five million views and counting, the YouTube video of a woman hearing herself for the first time is the kind of advertising a startup company like Envoy Medical in White Bear Lake Township couldn't buy if it tried.
"It's just insane what's happening, but it's wonderful, we couldn't be happier," said Envoy CEO Patrick Spearman
In the video, Sarah Churman, a 29-year-old from Texas, becomes an internet sensation, thanks to a video taken by her husband, Sloan.
The couple describe it as an intimate moment, one they weren't even going to capture if it wasn't for Sarah's mother who persisted they shoot a video of the moment.
It was only meant for the eyes of family and friends, but like YouTube tends to do, it's now viral and has let viewers in on what the makers of the device have seen many times before.
"What you saw, with Sarah crying, I've seen that literally with a hundred patients including men where you have to hand them Kleenexes to wipe their eyes cause they can hear," said Spearman.
Unlike other hearing devices, Envoy's Esteem unit uses a microprocessor that's surgically placed inside a person's head. The mini-computer senses the vibrations off the ear drums and makes a note of it.
The microprocessor sends the message to the cochlea, which then sends it to the brain.
The unit isn't cheap. The price tag is $30,000 which can be financed through Envoy.
The technology has only been around for the past five years and so far only a few insurance programs cover a portion of the costs.
The Churmans said they made some sacrifices to save the money for the procedure, making their YouTube moment all the more special.
(Copyright 2011 by KARE 11. All Rights Reserved.)