Every­one needs a Jenny, says proud dad

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Telethon Speech And Hearing Celebrates 50 Years - By DENISE S CAHILL

Telethon Speech and Hear­ing cel­e­brates 50 years in 2017. Over the next few weeks, we’ll bring you sto­ries of the peo­ple who have con­trib­uted to the ser­vice and helped make the Wem­b­ley fa­cil­ity what it is to­day. JENNY Crom­melin did not need to walk far to at­tend the first Telethon Speech and Hear­ing (TSH) school 50 years ago.

That’s be­cause the school was in her fam­ily’s Dalkeith lounge room.

Jenny’s par­ents Terry and Au­drey were one of the found­ing fam­i­lies of the first school that be­came what is now known as Telethon Speech and Hear­ing based in Wem­b­ley.

The now 54 year old, who lives at Rocky Bay in Mos­man Park, re­mem­bers her first teach­ers Vince and Marie Mc­cud­den.

At a break­fast cel­e­brat­ing TSH’S 50 years ear­lier this year, Terry shared the mo­ment when he and is wife re­alised their tod­dler was deaf.

He said he had just re­turned home from a busi­ness trip in­ter­state and Jenny was sit­ting in the kitchen near the fridge.

“I said ‘hi’ to Jenny and she didn’t re­spond,” Terry said.

The fa­ther of three pro­ceeded to bang pot and pans to­gether be­fore turn­ing to his wife and say­ing “Jenny is deaf”.

“When we did find out she was Jenny as a five year old with her first teacher Marie Mc­cud­den.

deaf it had an enor­mous im­pact back in those days.”

The cou­ple united with other fam­i­lies and started the first school with five deaf chil­dren, who learnt how to lip read.

Jenny, who is also dis­abled and was di­ag­nosed with rheuma­toid arthri­tis at a young age, said she learnt cued speech (lip read­ing), re­ly­ing on it to com­mu­ni­cate with fam­ily and friends.

“I have a cochlear in my left ear, which was put in about 11 years ago, which helps me a lot,” she said.

De­spite the ob­sta­cles Jenny faces, she is an in­spi­ra­tion to those around her and has a “wicked” sense of hu­mour, ac­cord­ing to her dad.

“I be­lieve that ev­ery fam­ily needs a Jenny,” Terry said.

“It brings you back to the fam­ily bond be­tween our two other chil­dren Vicki and Richard.”

Jenny said she loved to joke and have fun with peo­ple.

“I love my fam­ily; my fam­ily help me all the time and I think it is lovely to help peo­ple,” she said.

Jenny loves to share a joke with her dad Terry.

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