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.
Her guidance, understanding and support in the initial days were invaluable to us as new parents grappling with a condition we had never heard of.
From explaining which tests Maia needed, to connecting us to support groups and explaining her hearing loss, Simone enabled us to cope with what was a very overwhelming experience.
I remember coming into Hear and Say when Maia was just a week old to ensure she received the best possible care. Maia is now 4 years old and is absolutely thriving and loving life thanks to the therapy and support she receives through the Early Intervention Program.
We have connected with many families through the centre and have never felt alone on this journey.
All the families of children with Microtia also know we receive the most up to date information on reconstructive surgery options and hearing devices at Hear and Say’s annual Microtia and Atresia Conference.
We are so grateful that Maia can listen and speak. We know that soon she will be the one asking us all the questions about her ‘little ear’ and we now feel equipped to answer her. From the moment your child is born, you want to do everything to protect them. Thanks to Hear and Say I can honestly say we have been able to do just that.
Thank you for your support.
- Chloe and Leigh, Maia’s mum and dad
“Before all of this, we took hearing for granted and had never seen anyone with a cochlear implant.
But you see the difference, the magic, when someone who hasn’t heard before gets given sound for the first time.”
Matthew and Jack’s Story
“Hear and Say has been a major part of our lives for the last 18 years. I am a mum to 3 sons with both my eldest and youngest having cochlear implants.
Matthew is now 20, was diagnosed at 2 and received his implant at age 3 whilst Jack is now 12 and was fortunate enough to have been one of the first in Townsville to have been part of the new infant screening program.
He was diagnosed at only 10 days old and implanted by 8 and 1/2 months.