Relationships with the in-laws are often very complicated. Because a partner hears all the gossip about the in-laws, all the ways they let them down as children, and all the things they still do today, a spouse has to remain loyal to their partner. This often makes them side with their partner against the in-laws. But mother and wife, Sarah Churman always thought her relationship with her mother-in-law was flawless.

However, she did not know the whole truth. Churman was born deaf and could not hear a single sound. For 34-years she went through life without knowing the sound. That means she never listened to her husband or daughter say “I love you” but she also never heard her mother-in-law’s sharp criticisms.

Churman yearned to hear her child’s laughter and her husband’s whispering sweet-nothings. So when a new hearing implant went on the market, she jumped at the opportunity to try it.

The new technology was expensive. It cost $30,000 per ear. She didn’t have that kind of cash on hand. With her husband’s support, they started to look for a solution. But they just couldn’t find one. But then a loved one came swooping in with a generous offer.

Churman’s mother-in-law offered to pay for one of the implants. Her generosity would give Churman half her hearing. But her mother-in-law would need to withdraw the money from her retirement account. Grandma thought it would be worth it. She wanted her daughter-in-law to hear her babies’ adorable baby babbling.

Ellen DeGeneres heard about the story. And she wanted to speak to Churman. She invited her on the show and told her story.

But Churman had no idea that Ellen had a big surprise up her sleeve. Ellen focuses the camera on Churman’s mother-in-law and reveals the generous offer.

Sarah is flabbergasted that her mother-in-law wanted to pay for the procedure. But then she says the following – and she can hear it!

“Sarah is the best daughter-in-law in the world.”

While Sarah had half her hearing back, she still wanted to get the implant done on her other ear. That’s when Ellen surprised Sarah with a gift toward Envoy Medical Corporation, the company who did the original implant. She gave her what she needed to get the next procedure done. But then Ellen gave $30,000 to “pay her back” for her generosity. Her mother-in-law was floored.

Comments on the video included the following:

“It’s things like this that give me hope for the world.”


“Ellen is the most generous person ever! I’d love meeting her! She’s really funny and just super nice! She’s an angel, but a really funny angel!”

Sofie Cottam is also deaf. She shared her reaction to the video.

“I’m also deaf. Completely in one ear and 25% in the other. I had an operation three years ago now. And the smallest noises are amazing to hear at first, like birds tweeting, dogs barking on the street. Cars etc.”

Watch the footage below. What is your reaction to Ellen’s generosity during this clip?

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