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Freddie abroad

Published Date: 29 Sep 2022

There were many uncertainties around living abroad and what that meant for Freddie and his deafness: ease of booking appointments, what services would be available, would the care be as good, are they as specialised, language barriers, etc. We’re very supported here in Cyprus by the medical centre, GP and children’s nurse who go above and beyond to ensure Freddie has access to the same care that he would have in the UK, if not more. We weigh up the pros and cons of here verses the UK each time he requires any care to ensure he’s getting the best and what’s right for him.

We’ve had one audiologist appointment here. However, due to my personal preference, we decided to keep Freddie's primary audiology care in the UK and have twice this year flown back for appointments, which have both gone very well. As Freddie is still recording great responses from his right side, he remains un-aided. Therefore, we have face-to-face appointments every six months, and in-between we have a video call to check his development and discuss any concerns or questions and upcoming care plans as well as appointments. We’re due another face-to-face appointment in December which nicely coincides with our trip home for Christmas.

We’re currently awaiting an MRI for Freddie as well as genetic investigations, which we’re hoping can be arranged here. As our postcode is under the British Forces Post Office (BFPO), instead of waiting for an appointment via the NHS, we have to get it approved first, which can take some time, but once that’s granted an appointment is normally very quick to follow. If they’re unable to offer the MRI or genetic testing here, then we’ll be informed and it'll be arranged for Freddie to have these done in the UK.

A lot of travelling is involved, and many times I've thought it'd be easier for us to be posted back to the UK. However, it’s not always that simple, and since arriving here last year, Freddie's audiology care has been manageable. Freddie has been referred to a speech and language therapist and has had one session already, which went really well and helped me realise just how well Freddie is developing and communicating. I was worrying that he wasn’t at the same level as his peers. It’s something you tell yourself not to do, but you can't help but to compare. I do remind myself that Freddie has to work 10 times harder to listen and focus, which is exhausting for him, but each day brings us a happier and chattier little boy who is thriving.

Beth

Beth and her husband Nick are parents to Freddie (1) who has a profound hearing loss in his left ear. The family travel a lot for Nick’s work and currently live abroad.