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Bobby's story

Photo: Bobby with his mum, Emma.

Emma explains how she got the support she needed when finding out her son Bobby was deaf

Bobby was born in October 2019. We’d waited a long time for him to come along. As we tried for our third child, I suffered miscarriages, so Bobby’s arrival was all the more precious.

When Bobby failed a newborn hearing test, I brushed it aside. So did the nurses. It must just be fluid in his ears from the birth. But then he failed another one so they did a thorough hearing test.

My husband had gone back to work. I sat there alone cuddling my little boy as the doctor told me Bobby was deaf. I couldn’t stop crying. I was so frightened, I refused to believe it.

Guilt and fear overwhelmed me – I thought I might have caused this problem that would, in my eyes, hurt and hinder him for the rest of his life. I felt lost. Could he go to school? Ride a bike, drive a car? Would he hear me tell him I love him?

A Teacher of the Deaf visited and recommended a local playgroup for deaf children. I told some of the other mums there how worried I was and that’s when I heard about the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Finding the support I needed

I called their freephone helpline and the lovely adviser explained everything. I’d been so anxious and it really put my mind at rest.

I found out about an event for parents whose children had just been diagnosed as deaf and I jumped at the chance to be with professionals, desperate to learn all I could to help Bobby.

But along came Covid and it was cancelled. I felt lost again. We’d had just four sessions of playgroup, meeting other parents with deaf children before it all stopped – lifelines all gone, no face-to-face meet ups.

Then I saw that this amazing charity was putting loads of events online, so I enrolled straight away. It was fantastic, full of information about deafness, technology that can help, and so much else.

Getting the truth about deafness

Suddenly I no longer felt alone. I signed up for everything! I joined in workshops and coffee mornings. They were a wonderful way to share worries and concerns; we were able to talk openly and honestly and bounce ideas off one another. It was incredibly empowering as a mother, and made me feel I’m doing my job and supporting my baby boy.

Bobby is perfect to me and always will be, I want him to embrace his hearing loss and use it to educate others. I’ve learned that Bobby has a future as bright as any child, and that nothing will hold him back.

How you can support more children like Bobby

It costs just £12.50 for the charity to provide 20 minutes of free Helpline support – a complete lifeline – to a family like ours. I was amazed to learn that this vital service is 95% funded by donations from the public – that’s incredible!

I hope that by sharing our story, we can inspire people to fundraise for the National Deaf Children’s Society, so they can help more perfect children like Bobby. It’s really easy to request your fundraising pack and get in touch with their friendly team. You could help a family like ours to turn the corner and see their child’s bright future ahead.