Months after losing his hearing to an infection, Hayward Duresseau heard his boyfriend's sweet proposal after getting a cochlear implant

By Char Adams
October 05, 2018 04:29 PM

Hayward Duresseau, of Lafayette, Louisiana, got the ultimate surprise on a day that had already been life-changing.

Duresseau, 37, contracted bacterial meningococcal meningitis in February and completely lost his ability to hear as the illness wreaked havoc on his body, according to NBC News. After six months of recovery, Duresseau got a cochlear implant in August to help with his hearing loss.

After a doctor turned on the implant, Duresseau was finally able to hear again. With that, his boyfriend, Kerry Kennedy, had some extra special words to say.

“It’s been kind of a long journey to get to this point. But I’m glad that we were able to do it together,” Kennedy, 37, says in a sweet video of the moment. “I want to keep doing these things with you and helping you as much as I can because I know you help me. So will you marry me?”

Kerry Kennedy (left) and Hayward Duresseau

In the video, Duresseau says “yes” and the pair shed a few tears in the doctor’s office. After they embraced, a smiling Duresseau said, “I’m so happy I can hear you.”

“I got my fairy tale ending,” Duresseau told NBC. “It was like our relationship started all over again. Nothing was better than being able to hear his voice.”

Before Duresseau became sick, the couple, who began dating in 2015, had talked about marriage. However, they put plans for their future on hold in the midst of Duresseau’s recovery. Now, the pair plans to rest after the ordeal and enjoy being engaged, they told NBC.

The day marked the end of a months-long ordeal that began when the couple took a trip to San Francisco to visit family, they told Business Insider. Duresseau recalled feeling exhausted as he and Kennedy flew back to Louisiana.

“I became paralyzed from the hip down. Kerry had to carry me down stairs and walk me to the car,” Duresseau told the site. “It was a nightmare. At that point my hearing faded and I couldn’t hear a thing.”

He was hospitalized for weeks and regained his sight and mobility. During his recovery, the couple learned American Sign Language together to communicate because they “didn’t know what was going to happen next.”

Things began to look up when Duresseau was approved for the cochlear implant, an electronic device that partially restores hearing. Kennedy gushed over the big day in a Facebook post.

“It’s been six months since you lost your hearing to meningitis. These have been some of the most challenging months of our lives, but we made it together. Today your cochlear implant was turned on for the first time,” Kennedy wrote alongside a video of the proposal.

“For the first time in 6 months, you were able to hear me, and I knew exactly what I wanted to ask you. When you said “Yes” today, that made all the challenges worth it. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. I love you Hayward Duresseau.”