Ensuring babies born into a world without sound have access to urgent services has been the driving force behind Hear and Say’s work for almost 30 years.
This extends from our earliest six children, whose sessions were delivered by Dr Dimity Dornan within a spare room in a Brisbane physiotherapy clinic, to babies like one-year-old Harry, who was born with severe hearing loss and received cochlear implants just over two months ago.
Like thousands of children before him, Harry is now undertaking years of early intervention to develop listening and spoken language skills that will quickly be on par with his typically-hearing peers.
Harry’s parents, Kate and Andrew said they were determined to ensure Harry could grow up with the world as his oyster, just like his doting older sister, Stella has before him.
“When we found out Harry had severe hearing loss, it came as a very big shock for our family. My biggest concern was the unknown – was he going to be able to talk clearly? Would he hear us? We just wanted him to be in the best position and to give him the strongest opportunity to move forward, learn and live life,” said Kate.
However, thanks to Harry’s family’s ongoing determination and the support of the Hear and Say team, Kate said she looked to Harry’s years ahead as full of joy, hope and achievement.
“We don’t look at Harry thinking, ‘Oh, he won’t be able to do this or that.’ We just look at his hearing loss and go, ‘Well, he’s got this but it’s not going to stop him from doing anything.’ It hasn’t yet, and I don’t think it will in future.”