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Ruby's story

Photo: Mum Debbie with her deaf child Ruby

One day, when my daughter Ruby was 18 months old, she just stopped responding to noises. She would only answer me if I spoke to her face. If there was something on the TV that she liked but she had her back to it, she simply couldn’t hear it. It was so very frightening—why couldn’t my little girl hear what was going on? Why wouldn’t she answer me?

Thanks to supporters like you, we’ve had the most wonderful support from the National Deaf Children’s Society.

My local GP told me I was being an over-protective first-time mum, but after seeking a second opinion, it was confirmed that Ruby was profoundly deaf because of an infection I’d caught when I was pregnant, we were absolutely devastated. After the initial shock, we then decided that, “this is it, this is what we’re dealing with so let’s just get on with it.” I suppose we’ve been doing that ever since.

Ruby wants to be a doctor when she grows up so that she can help make people better—especially her little brother who has some health problems of his own. It’s a big ambition to have when you’re only young but why shouldn’t she have big dreams? Deafness shouldn’t be a barrier in life for any child and thanks to your support, I now know there’s nothing to stop Ruby being who, or what, she wants to be.

Today she’s a cheeky, bubbly, confident little girl—and that is absolutely wonderful! Going to school, making friends and joining in with games in the playground can be a struggle when you can’t hear what’s going on, but Ruby’s doing really well thanks to the support we’ve had from the National Deaf Children’s Society. I was able to give her teachers some information about how they can communicate with her, for example, and how we can all support her emotionally. They’ve also provided us with life changing information about things like cochlear implants. We really didn’t know what to do for the best or whether Ruby should have the implants but the National Deaf Children’s Society helped us make that decision and Ruby now has what she proudly calls her “special ears.” People can’t believe how well she is speaking as a result! A couple of months after she’d had the implants, she turned round and answered me for the first time when I asked her a question and that was just the best feeling in the world!

Thank you so much for everything that you do to support the National Deaf Children’s Society. Families like ours would truly be lost without you.

(Ruby’s mum)