Tampa, FL — “He wants to hear his daughter’s voice,” said Katie Goutoufas, the wife of D.C. Goutoufas, when explaining why her husband was receiving a breakthrough surgery to implant bionic ears.

At four-years-old, D.C. Goutoufas went completely deaf. He spent the next 43 years in an effort to one day hear again. And now, his journey has come to its precipice.

Several weeks ago Goutoufas underwent a groundbreaking surgery to have bionic ears implanted. While cochlear implant surgery has been available for some time, the technology has increased significantly over the years.

The implant procedure was conducted by the doctors and scientists at the Tampa Bay Hearing and Balance Center who are actively involved in the design and research process with all three of the leading implant companies, Advanced Bionics, Med-EL Corporation, and Cochlear Corporation.

Being directly involved in the process allows the Hearing Center to receive and adopt the most cutting edge technologies and programming techniques.

Under the close supervision of Dr. Kayla Wilkins of Tampa Bay Hearing and Balance Center, D.C. had his life forever changed. D.C.’s family allowed local news team, WTNH, to document the process.

After a journey of more than four decades, this 47-year-old father’s first words he heard were, “I love you,” from his 17-year-old daughter, Olivia Goutoufas.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as the father and daughter embraced in this dramatic moment.

“You have been deaf since you were four; this is a big deal,” said Dr. Wilkins as she looked proudly into her patient’s eyes.

D.C. will have to undergo several more months of adaptive therapy, but so far so good. This father’s dream of hearing his daughter’s voice has finally been realized.