Im­plant lets lit­tle Leo hear his mum

Stirling Times - - NEWS - Kristie Lim

NORTH Beach mother Natalie El­lis treats Telethon Speech and Hear­ing (TSH) like her fam­ily.

Es­pe­cially since the staff of TSH gifted her deaf two-yearold son Leo with the abil­ity to hear through a cochlear im­plant.

Ms El­lis said she found out Leo was deaf when he was a year old but she and her hus­band took 10 months be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion.

“My hus­band was very cau­tious as well, be­cause it is such a big oper­a­tion and a huge de­ci­sion,” Ms El­lis said.

“We just kind of needed the pro­fes­sion­als to re­ally walk us through the whole thing and tell us 20 times why and what was wrong with his hear­ing be­cause we do not know any­one who is deaf.

“Some­one telling us that we have got to put a thing in his ear... it is re­ally con­fronting.

“The peo­ple at Telethon ba­si­cally walked me through it all and for a long time, they were so help­ful and got ev­ery­one in­volved, and we fi­nally felt like they were right and we were com­fort­able that it would go ahead.”

Ms El­lis said it had been a con­fus­ing and emo­tional jour­ney for her fam­ily.

“In hind­sight, we wish we had done it ear­lier,” she said.

“Ever since he got his cochlear im­plant, he has just come along in leaps and bounds.

“He can’t say things prop­erly be­cause he is still learn­ing but he is hear­ing ev­ery­thing.

“Be­cause he has lost his pro­found hear­ing, his hear­ing aids were not re­ally do­ing any­thing for him and he was strug­gling with his right ear; he would just kind of ig­nore us all the time.”

Ms El­lis said she was con­fi­dent Leo could catch up with his speech devel­op­ment in time for kinder­garten.

She said Telethon had been in­stru­men­tal in get­ting Leo to hear prop­erly and her fam­ily was in a for­tu­nate po­si­tion.

Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell­mu­ni­ d474379

Natalie El­lis with a thriv­ing Leo.

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