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October 3, 2012

Ear surgery, performed in 14 tweets + Instagrammed

From: - ‎Oct 3, 2012‎

By Jonathan Anker

Eleanor Day has been completely deaf for five years.

Tuesday morning she walked into a Seattle hospital to receive a cochlear implant -- and the ability to hear once more.

She was joined on this important and hopeful journey by her husband, her doctor, physician's assistants, nurses -- and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of online observers.

Welcome to one of the most fantastic events made possible yet by social media.

Swedish Medical Center offered up rare access and insight into a surgical procedure in real-time by posting live updates of Day's hearing restoration surgery via Twitter and Instagram.

Dr. Douglas Backous performed the surgery and said the hospital was looking for a way to make more people aware of the benefits of this procedure. He told Mashable that only 10% of people who are eligible for the surgery end up having it. Even less common? Getting to observe the surgery.

So here are 14 of the tweets and images the hospital posted (including a few pretty sweet ones of Eleanor and her husband) before, during and after the procedure. Fair warning, some folks may find a few of these Instagram photo links to be a bit graphic.

(See the link at top of this article for original source in order to view those tweets)

Dr. Backous says the next big day for Eleanor is October 14, when doctors will first turn on her implant, and if all goes according to plan, she will hear sounds -- including her husband's voice -- for the first time in five years.

© 2012