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Family is what matters, 10 years later

December 3, 2018

With Christmas approaching we wanted to share an inspiring story and an update on some patients we most recently heard from in the 2008 Summer Edition – 10 years ago now.

When twins Ben and Lochie were born, they were quiet babies. They slept really well and mum, Naomi, thought she was just lucky and put it down to them being twins. Naomi didn’t realise both boys had hearing impairments until they were sent for a routine screening at 6 weeks.

Since receiving implants at 8 and 10 months respectively, Lochie and Ben have been part of the Eye and Ear’s family. The hospital became a second home as they spent time here for speech therapy, check-ups and care. Their Mum Naomi says the twins had many of their major milestones within the hospital’s walls. For example, it was in our waiting rooms that they took their first steps.

Naomi is very thankful to have a family that supported her and her sons all the way through. She says “My Mum was here at every appointment. She would take care of one twin while I was with the other one at the consultation.”

Now, Ben and Lochie are 11 years old and attend Yarra Valley Grammar School, both in mainstream classrooms.

They are busy and enjoy and participate in the same activities as other kids. They love music; Lochie plays the cello and Ben orchestral percussions. They play hockey, tennis and even appear in school productions. The twins also compete in cross-country and athletics and have even won national and international medals.

In March last year, Lochie participated in the annual “Power of Speech” public speaking event held at Parliament House in Canberra. This event showcases the exceptional language skills of children and young adults who have taken part in early intervention programs.

Lochie talked about the misconceptions about deafness and some of the interesting questions he has been asked. He won the overall event and he received the Prime Minister’s Courage Award from the then Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

Ben and Lochie have a bright future ahead of them, but it’s not just young children that can benefit from cochlear implants. People of all ages can fit the criteria for cochlear implant surgery – including those with age related hearing loss – as Mrs Dulcie Selleck our oldest patient can attest. You can read more about Dulcie later in this issue.