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Ella fights back

A frightening bout of meningitis led to Ella’s deafness but NDCS were there to help.

After a perfect wedding and holiday in Cyprus, Sarah and Simon Morris and their daughter Ella, were thrown into turmoil when a seemingly innocent fever rapidly progressed to meningitis, leaving the 14-month-old fighting for her life.

After two weeks of anguish for her family, Ella had made what appeared to be a full recovery and went home. But Sarah realised that Ella was not hearing properly and could no longer speak words that she had learnt just a few weeks before, returning to baby noises. “It was heartbreaking”, says Sarah.

The results of hearing tests confirmed Sarah and Simon’s worst fears; Ella was profoundly deaf in her right ear and had mild to moderate hearing loss in her left ear, which would need a hearing aid. “We tried to be positive, recognising that hearing aids would improve things.”

Amongst the information from the audiologist was a leaflet from NDCS. They soon got in touch and began to make contact with other parents of deaf children and receive advice from NDCS professionals. “We’ve found NDCS incredibly helpful. We go on the website a lot, especially the parent’s forum, and learn so much by reading about other families experiences.”

Ella, now three, wears a hearing aid in her left ear and her parents have noticed she is also lip-reading. Earlier this year, the family went to a NDCS weekend for newly identified deaf children.

“I was sitting there with all these families with deaf children and I realised I hadn’t completely accepted Ella’s deafness. It helped me come to terms with it. The next milestone for us will be Ella starting school, but I know NDCS will be there if I need them.” Says Sarah.

Ella’s story is not unusual - meningitis is one of the most common causes of children becoming deaf after birth. Your fantastic support is helping NDCS to be there for families now and in the future.
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