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Apii’s mum talks about his hearing loss

Apii's Ears

Apii was born on 3rd October 2013. He failed the new-born hearing screening then due to a clinical error there was a delay in getting Apii tested further, but once sorted Apii’s testing started happening very quickly.

While we waited for appointments we pretty much figured he was deaf. He would get a fright if we suddenly appeared from behind him or he wouldn’t react to things like doors closing, our dog barking, cars starting, people talking, music playing – anything that had sound. But at the same time we thought maybe he can hear because he was responding to other things. We just wanted it confirmed either way so we knew it was real and where to go from there.

Apii’s hearing loss was diagnosed a couple of days before he turned 1 year old. He was fitted with hearing aids 2 weeks later and was referred to the Hearing House. The hearing aids gave him some hearing but not enough for him to access speech & spoken language, plus he kept destroying them!

On the 15th April 2015 Apii received a cochlear implant on the left side. He was supposed to have both sides done together but not long before surgery he was diagnosed to have X-linked stapes gusher in both inner ears – the easiest way to explain is that his cochlears are smaller than normal size.

Apii therefore had his left side implanted first to see what the outcome would be, and then the right side was done on 12th August 2015. Because of his ear anatomy the implants are partially inserted, not fully inserted.

29th April 2016 was his 1 year since switch on of his left implant. He is now 2 years old. I forget that he’s deaf so to speak. Apii goes to day-care near my work. He’s such a happy little guy. He has no issues with his ‘ears’. His school friends know he needs them to hear and if a coil comes off and he doesn’t put it back on himself then one of the other children will do it!

He hears and laughs along with his friends. His speech is coming along just fine. Currently his favourite saying is “Stop it!” which sounds like “stabbit.” He chats in his own language, shouts in it, laughs in it, and then will say a word or two. “Thank you, more please, please mum, go!” He’ll hear music and sing along or dance along. All this with partial insertions!

I just want to say thank you to the Hearing House and everyone in it! Special thanks to Apii’s AV Therapist Esther Pakira and to Colin Brown, Apii’s surgeon. Huge love, thanks & respect to you all and everything you do and have done and will continue to do for countless other families. You are all priceless.

Please help support Loud Shirt Day & The Hearing House. They make such a huge difference in our lives.

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