The first thing a gay man heard after regaining his hearing was a marriage proposal from his boyfriend.

According to BuzzFeed News, Hayward Duresseau, 27, and Kerry Kennedy, 37, were on a vacation in San Francisco visiting family when Duresseau contracted bacterial meningitis. He lost his vision and hearing, and became paralyzed from the waist down. He recovered his sight and mobility, but permanently lost his hearing.

“I could see everything that was going on – I could communicate, but the world couldn't communicate back with me,” Duresseau said.

After returning home from the hospital, the couple learned sign language to communicate.

“He would place the 'I love you' sign on my leg or my back, and that's when I knew I could go to sleep,” Duresseau said.

Duresseau was approved to receive a cochlear implant. The device is not turned on until after the patient has recovered from the surgery.

When the implant was turned on – and Duresseau's hearing was restored – the first thing Duresseau heard was his boyfriend's proposal.

“I was in shock,” Duresseau said. “I can hear Kerry, and the first thing that comes out of his mouth – it's this big spiel about what we've been through and he's down on one knee.”

A video of the proposal has gone viral.

The couple, together over three years, are planning to marry during Mardi Gras.