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Deaf man gets hearing implant in time for Coachella Fest

April 14, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The fact that Justin Tyle is profoundly deaf isn't stopping him from having the time of his life during his seventh year at THE Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival.

This time, however, it will be an entirely different experience. After more than 25 years in a silent world, Tyle received a cochlear implant that allows him to hear.

Tyle's grandmother, Donna Lynch, says his life hasn't been the same since he had the implant almost a year ago.

"He called me a few Sundays ago from Oregon to say, 'Guess what, grandma? I can now hear your birds singing in my bedroom window,'" she said.

Music has been enjoyable for Tyle, and Coachella became his ultimate destination. Coming from a musical family could explain all of his enthusiasm. His father and grandfather were drummers.

"I still have a beat in my heart for drumming," Tyle said. "I always love seeing the drummers wailing out on the drums."

After losing his hearing at the age of 2 to meningitis, Tyle missed another sound he once loved: his grandmother's music box. After the implant, that too came alive again. Lynch gave Tyle the music box this past Christmas.