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Deaf man hears daughter sing for the first time

Dec. 16, 2013 at 1:33 PM ET

Video: New technology lets deaf man hear his daughter sing for the first time. Anne Allred reports.

A man who has been deaf for more than 50 years has received a Christmas gift he’ll likely never forget: He heard his daughter sing for the first time in his life.

Ken Stehle, who lives in St. Peters, Mo., is wearing a special new hearing aid, so his 15 year-old-daughter Ashley decided to test it out during the annual Christmas concert at her high school earlier this month. The teen loves to sing and is part of the choir.

She would have to wear a special microphone that would transmit the sound of her voice to a receiver worn around her dad’s neck, which then sent the signal to his new hearing aid. There were nerves all around.

"I didn't know if it was going to work," Ashley confessed to NBC affiliate KSDK.com in St. Louis.

It was a special day for both father and daughter. The teen’s teacher allowed her to sing her first solo performance, for which Ashley chose the song "Daddy Please Come Home For Christmas." The number wasn’t included in the program so that it could be complete surprise for her dad.

When Ashley stepped up to the microphone by herself and began to sing, she also signed the lyrics, but saw that it was unnecessary and watched her dad’s reaction with delight.

“He was just closing his eyes and listening to my voice. He didn't really care if he was seeing me because he has always seen me, he wanted to hear me and that was just awesome," she told KSDK.

Her father, in turn, was entranced.

"It's amazing. I had goose bumps all over me. I'm very proud of my daughter," Ken Stehle said.

After her performance, Ashley ran to hug her dad while the audience applauded.

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