Helping children to reach their full potential.

A message in a bottle – making change for local children with hearing loss

Local Brisbane business owners and loving parents, Jay and Anna, found out that their beautiful little girl Harriet had a hearing loss at just one day old.

 

Harriet was born with Microtia and Atresia, two separate conditions that relate to the development of the outer ear and the ear canal respectively.

“We were all a little surprised initially. When Harriet was born one ear looked relatively developed, but the other didn’t look very normal so we knew there was an issue.

“When Harriet was diagnosed with Microtia and Atresia, we were seen by so many people, it seemed like a whirlwind of advice about places to see and people to talk to,” says Anna.

Throughout this chaotic time Jay and Anna knew that they wanted Harriet to have access to speech and spoken language so she could live a life not limited by hearing loss.

“It’s really important that she fits into a normal life and that we can give her access to mainstream education. If she wants to be a CEO of a company in London, then she should be able to do so wholeheartedly and successfully without any language barrier,” says Anna.

When the new parents learnt about Hear and Say and the services they provide, with a focus on listening and spoken language, they felt it was the right place for their family.

“Everyone at Hear and Say has been absolutely fantastic. We’ve been really lucky that the team have been so supportive and we’ve had a great relationship with Katie, our therapist,” says Anna.

 

Today Harriet is almost four years old and attends day care.

“She’s quite a shy child but she’s very loving and sensitive. The hearing loss hasn’t seemed to hold her back at all.

“She makes friends easily and she hears things I didn’t think would be possible for her to hear,” says Anna.

Grateful for the ways Hear and Say are helping Harriet to reach her full potential, Jay and Anna have decided to give back by participating in Containers for Change, a recycling initiative that provides cash for bottles and containers.

“We own Red Rooster at Ashgrove, a local business, and we want to support Hear and Say in any way we can. We do recycling at home, so we thought why not do this through the shop? We approached Hear and Say for a bin for all the cans and bottles that come through the shop, they jumped on board and it’s been successful. We’re very happy to support a local charity that does so much for us,” says Anna.

You can support Hear and Say by dropping your containers to your local collection centre and using the code C10087316.

This inspirational couple encourage any individual or local business to support Hear and Say.

“Hear and Say is a really positive and powerful local charity that really does make a difference to the lives of a lot of young children with hearing loss and their families.”

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Maia’s Story

At 9.10pm on 24 October 2013 our beautiful daughter Maia was born. 

The moment of elation was short-lived as we immediately noticed her left ear was missing. I frantically looked to the medical team around me for answers but received none.

Panic set in as we waited 4 days in hospital for an ENT to explain her condition, by which point we already had all the answers from Simone, who runs the Microtia and Atresia Program at Hear and Say.

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