NEW YORK (WABC) -- Seven-year-old Teesa was playing with her crayons, drawing and coloring, perhaps unaware that the rest of her life was about to change. In just a few minutes, she was going to be able to hear out of both ears for the very first time, ending a long, difficult journey.
Kathleen Arden adopted Teesa, who spent the first year of her life at an orphanage in India. Teesa was never taught sign language, so she had little-to-no communication skills. She would only make small gestures to indicate when she was hungry.
"She's been through quite a lot in her seven years, and hasn't been able to tell anyone about it, because right now she doesn't have a very reliable mode of communication," Arden said.
All of that began to change in August, when Teesa had cochlear implant surgery in one ear at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.
Four months later, Teesa had the implant surgery in the other ear. Doctors at Mount Sinai used a new type of implant that was just approved by the FDA. It is thinner and softer, and could help a person hear better.
On Friday, Teesa was smiling from ear to ear -- ears that are now finally working.
As for what's next?
"The sky is the limit," Arden said. "There are so many things that I want to show her. She just had her first Christmas. That was very exciting. There is just so much I want to show her."
7-year-old hears out of both ears for first time after life-changing surgery