This is Oliver and Becky Dennis with their daughter Hope. Hope is 18months old and was also born profoundly deaf. The Dennis family are English and live in North London, an area that was very much a part of our lives before we moved to Melbourne 8 years ago.
Last week the UK Sunday Times supplement ran an article on the Dennis family and their experience of discovering at her birth that their only child was profoundly deaf in both ears. The article describes their journey to get her bilateral cochlear implants.
As so many members of our family and friends live in London, Dan and I were sent a number of emails and Facebook messages about this article. Coincidentally Dan is in London this week and when he read the article he reached out to Oliver to let him know how encouraging it was to read his story of how at only 14mnths Hope’s listening and speaking skills were age appropriate. His story was so very similar to our experiences so far…
Uncannily over the last 10 months we have often discussed what would have happened if Harry, like Tess, had been born in London. With the pioneering scientists and surgeons for Cochlear Implant technology based in Melbourne would we have indeed ended up living here eventually?
For the Dennis Family the London Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital provided them with an unfaultable service which was fully funded by the NHS (the same as we have here with Medicare).
The story of funding is not so fortunate for those living in New Zealand however, where the Govt only funds one cochlear implant on the basis that you can hear with only one ear.
I can’t even imagine how it must feel as a family to go through the trauma of finding out your child is deaf only to have to then start fighting to get funding to bring them into the hearing world.
For sure this is the Lucky Country………………….
UK Sunday Times Article dated Sunday 15th April 2012