“When I heard the news that Hudson had severe hearing loss, my heart stopped beating for a few seconds. Our world was shattered. I couldn’t breathe. I was suffocating. It was a very dark day that day.” – Jenny, Hudson’s mum
At just four weeks old, Hudson was diagnosed with severe hearing loss in both of his ears. It was a dark day for Hudson’s parents who feared they would never be able to speak to their gorgeous little boy.
“When Hudson was born, like any mother, I was so overwhelmed with my little boy, and naturally, I thought everything was ok.”
“It was supposed to be one of the happiest moments of our life, but after our hearing screening at the Hospital, our worst nightmare became a reality.”
Like so many Hear and Say families, Hudson’s story began in a world of heartbreak, confusion and fear that he would never be able to communicate with his family and the world around him.
All children deserve to experience the joy of sound and speech. You can give a gift for life this tax time and open worlds for more children, just like Hudson.
“When people found out that Hudson had a hearing loss, I felt like they were looking at me with ‘pity eyes’. We didn’t know anything about hearing loss. We didn’t know anyone with hearing loss. We were so worried that Hudson wouldn’t be able to communicate.”
After meeting with a specialist, Jenny and Adam were advised to contact Hear and Say. Here came the first glimmer of hope for Hudson’s future.
Jenny explains; “I can remember walking into the Hear and Say building, red-eyed and unsure what the future would hold for us. But when I walked in, I heard deaf children… speaking! My glimmer of hope sparked into fireworks and I walked out thinking ‘we can do this! He’s going to be ok! I’m going to be able to speak to my child!’”
Not long afterwards, Hudson had his cochlear implants fitted and began Listening and Spoken Language lessons to equip him for the best possible future.
“Switch on day was difficult… but when Hudson’s cochlear’s were switched on and we knew that he could hear us; it was like the weight of the world was lifted from our shoulders. It was like a light inside Hudson had been switched on,” said Jenny.
On that special day, Hudson’s world had been opened to sound. But it was the next few years that Jenny and Adam saw the true miracle of speech and sound, attending lessons at Hear and Say’s Townsville Centre.
“We knew that Hudson was starting to hear really well. He could certainly hear our voices when we were talking to him and trips in the car soon became eventful singing songs and playing spotting games with responses such as, “Truck”, something that was very joyful to hear,” said Jenny.
But when Adam, Hudson’s dad was relocated to Rockhampton Jenny became concerned that living regionally, the family would lose their supports.
“When our family moved from Townsville to Rockhampton so it was a real struggle to keep Hudson up to date with his listening and speaking. We really enjoyed our face-to-face lessons, but living in Rockhampton it just wasn’t going to be possible for us. So we transitioned to Telepractice.”
Hear and Say’s Telepractice program that ensures that children, wherever they live, can have access to hear and speak to their full potential. Using video-conferencing, Hear and Say’s team of Listening and Spoken Language Specialist conduct parent-led lessons with their children, just like Hudson, in the comfort of their own home.
It is thanks to the community that Hudson has become the bright and bubbly five-year-old he is today.
“Thanks to Telepractice, Hudson is back ticking the boxes again. Telepractice was our light at the end of the tunnel. People are amazed when they see how well Hudson speaks and the other children see him as a superhero. I look back now and I think; Hudson’s hearing loss is just an obstacle and everything is going to be ok. He’s going to have a beautiful life and he’s doing so well. He’s achieving so much more than we thought when we were first told about his hearing loss. We are very positive about Hudson’s future.”
“To people that donate to Hear and Say, thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts. You have changed Hudson’s life, but there are other children with hearing loss that need your support. Hear and Say really do support all different families, from up north to out west. Hear and Say provided us the tools and guidance that just wasn’t available regionally.”
With this great progress, we often forget that listening to a deaf child speak is a miracle. It’s thanks to the incredible support of the community that children who would have once lived life in black and white, can now live life in full colour, regardless of their hearing, location or situation.