Sarah Churman, a wife and mother of two, was born without the hairs in her middle ear used to transmit sound. She had gone 29 years living almost totally deaf until she found out about a new hearing aid on the market. The aids, which would be implanted into her ears could give her the gift of sound for the first time in her life. She was excited about the possibility of trying the implants until she found out how much they would set her family back. They would cost $30,000 per ear and her insurance wouldn’t cover it.
Sarah and her husband, Sloan, tried to come up with ways to save up the money, but it seemed impossible. With two young children to provide for, they couldn’t figure out a way to budget for it. That’s when Sloan’s mother, Lari, stepped in. She had a small retirement fund saved up and decided to cash in, offering to pay for one of the hearing aids. Lari had only one request: that following the implantation of the hearing aid, Sloan would film his wife’s reaction.
The Churmans posted the emotional and tear-filled video of Sarah hearing for the first time on the internet. Unexpected to them, it went viral, getting several millions of views in only a few days. The video caught the attention of people around the world, and even a certain someone with a mega-successful talk show. That’s right, Ellen Degeneres caught wind of Churman’s incredible story and decided to have her and her family on The Ellen Show.
In a blog post written about her experience, Sarah says she only mentioned what her mother-in-law did for her nonchalantly to producers during a pre-interview. It was then producers asked if Lari would come to the show as an audience member.
When the day came to be on the show, Ellen told the audience about Lari’s incredible gift to Sarah. Lari went on to describe Sarah as “the best daughter-in-law in the world”. Sarah mentioned in her blog that she was extremely nervous to be on the show and only expected to go on to talk about the viral video she’d been a part of. She never expected what an amazing surprise Ellen had in store.
“I don’t think that a family should struggle like this financially with something this important,” Ellen began, “so we have a little gift for you.” She then went on to say that the company that did Sarah’s first hearing implant is going to give her the second one for free. She then presented Sarah with the icing on the cake, a $30,000 cheque from the company to reimburse her for the first implant.
The amazing announcement instantly brought Sarah to tears. The look on her husband’s and Lari’s faces in the audience was priceless. Ellen invited them both on stage to join Sarah for hugs and happy tears. Sarah summarized her experience of the moment in her blog, “I was so overcome with emotion, and was so thankful that Lari and Sloan were able to come up to the stage. I think none of us knew what to say or do. We were just completely blindsided by the generous blessing.”
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