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Hearing Things for the First Time

Posted 410 days ago | 21.04.19

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Hearing Things for the First Time

Leia Armitage who is n ow seven years old, lived in total silence for the first two years of her life, but thanks to pioneering brain surgery and years of therapy she has found her voice and can communicate with her parents.

They said: ”We were told you could put a bomb behind her and she wouldn't hear it at all if it went off.”

Leia, from Dagenham in Essex, had no inner ear or hearing nerve, meaning that even standard hearing aids or cochlear implants wouldn't help her. So she was never expected to speak.

However, despite the risks, her parents fought for her to be one of the first children in the UK to be given an auditory brainstem implant, requiring complex brain surgery when she was two years old.

NHS England described the surgery as  "truly life-changing" and has said it will fund the implant for other deaf children in a similar position. About 15 children a year will be assessed for the procedure and nine will go on to have surgery.

In the five years since the surgery, her progress has been much greater than ever expected.

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