Kieran gets the ‘big ears’ he’s dreamed about

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY JAY GRENBY

NINE-YEAR-OLD BUSHEY boy Kieran Sorkin was born deaf with just small lobes where his ears should have been. But he now has the “big ears” he has al­ways wanted, cre­ated from the car­ti­lage of his own ribs, and grafted on to his head in a seven-hour op­er­a­tion per­formed by sur­geons at Lon­don’s Great Or­mond Street Hos­pi­tal.

And Kieran — who suf­fers from a rare con­gen­i­tal con­di­tion, mi­cro­tia — will be hon­oured for his for­ti­tude when he is called up at the Shab­bat morn­ing ser­vice at Bushey Sy­n­a­gogue, where he at­tends cheder and JLGB.

The surgery was for cos­metic pur­poses, Kieran hav­ing al­ready un­der­gone three op­er­a­tions to im­prove his hear­ing. His par­ents, Louise and David, had been keen to keep him in main­stream school­ing and he ini­tially at­tended Si­nai Jewish Pri­mary in Ken­ton. But un­able to con­tinue re­ceiv­ing the ex­tra help he needed, he is now at a St Al­bans school with a spe­cial deaf unit and at least one deaf child in ev­ery year.

“While Kieran him­self didn’t nec­es­sar­ily ac­cept that he was dif­fer­ent from any other child, he was fed up with be­ing con­stantly teased or asked ques­tions about his ap­pear­ance,” said his fa­ther, an IT man­ager. “So, once he learned at the age of six that such an op­er­a­tion might be pos­si­ble, it was ab­so­lutely his de­ci­sion to go ahead. Now he looks near enough like any other nine-year-old kid, which is what he al­ways wanted.”

To shape Kieran’s new ears, doc­tors first looked at his fa­ther’s but felt they were too large. The small and pretty ears of his mother, a teacher at Edg­ware Sy­n­a­gogue’s Gan Kin­neret nurs­ery, were deemed more suit­able. So doc­tors used hers as a tem­plate, leav­ing Kieran de­lighted to have “in­her­ited” her fea­tures.

The Sorkins have praised the Jewish Deaf As­so­ci­a­tion for its long-term as­sis­tance.“Wew­ere­to­tal­lyun­pre­pared­when Kieran was born, but the JDA was there

‘Now he looks like any nineyear-old, which is what he wanted’

for us right from the begin­ning, with coun­selling and ad­vice and, later on, pro­vid­ing ac­cess to spe­cialised teach­ers and the like. Last year, [our daugh­ter] Mia raised £1,100 for the as­so­ci­a­tion by cut­ting off her long hair.”

JDA ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Sue Cipin re­called that, when Mrs Sorkin found out her new­born son was deaf, she felt like it was the end of the world.

“But, since that first scary di­ag­no­sis, JDA have formed a close re­la­tion­ship with the Sorkin fam­ily, ded­i­cat­ing our­selves to sup­port­ing them both prac­ti­cally and emo­tion­ally. We in­tro­duced them to other fam­i­lies with deaf chil­dren and en­sured that Kieran had ac­cess to spe­cially tai­lored hear­ing aids, ed­u­ca­tion, ther­a­pies and treat­ments.

“Kieran’s jour­ney has been long and hard and, for such a young boy, he’s al­ready en­dured more con­sul­ta­tions and op­er­a­tions than most peo­ple do in their en­tire lives. We’ve all been wait­ing for this won­der­ful day and now he has his new ears, we know that his con­fi­dence will soar.”

Boris John­son at Kol Bo­ni­ach

Kieran Sorkin with mum Louise

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.