A woman who was diagnosed with a rare brain condition has said ‘I love you’ to her mom for the first time thanks to an eye-tracking technology.
Watch the story of the family below.
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Video credit: Rumble
Pauline Rett, 36, from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, lost her ability to talk or move her hands since being diagnosed with Rett syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects brain development when she was two years old.
However, her life has changed when her family bought a £9,000($12,000) computer that converts her eye movements into speech.
The Tobii Dynavox eye-tracking technology is a form of Augmentative and Alternative Communication [AAC], that works and show what Pauline is looking at on a computer screen.
Infrared light is reflected in Ms. Rett’s eyes. It traces whatever symbol or phrase she is looking at on the screen in front of her.
The tech then converts the data into speech, which is blared out through speakers by a computer-generated voice.
It has allowed Ms. Rett to talk, she even shares jokes with her family for the first time in more than three decades.
Judith, who cares for her daughter full-time, said: ‘It might sound a small thing but I’ve never heard Pauling speak before.
‘Her first words to me were ‘I love you’ which was wonderful. ‘We can now have jokes and chat which means so much to both of us.’
Her mother says her family felt like they were ‘falling downing a cliff that they didn’t know when they would climb back up again’ when Pauline got her diagnosed.
However, she always believed that her daughter was always aware of what was going on as she listened and ‘laughed in all the right places’.
After getting the new computer, Pauline has told her family that due to her ‘hard’ condition she often gets ‘frightened and frustrated’.
Judith says things like these are sad to hear, but is happy her daughter can now finally tell her. She said: ‘The best thing about the computer is when she tells us she loves us and when she calls me mom.
‘It’s always been a strong relationship. I have always adored her. ‘But I feel I have more fun with her now.
‘Sometimes she tells me just how hard having the condition is which is very sad but it’s good she can express that now.’
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