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Freddie's unilateral deafness

Published Date: 11 May 2022

Boy sitting outside on grass

Nick and I found out during our 20-week scan that our son Freddie has hydronephrosis of his left kidney. Then, at his newborn hearing screening, there was no response in his left ear. We were referred to another hospital where it was confirmed that Freddie has profound hearing loss in his left ear. We're currently awaiting investigations to try to find out why, and we're also undergoing genetic testing in the near future. We're trying to find out if there's a link between his hearing and his kidney as we've been told they develop at the same time during pregnancy.

Freddie had surgery for his kidney when he was seven months old while we were living abroad in Cyprus for Nick’s work with the British Army. We have dual care here in Cyprus and remain under the care of our hospital in England as we cannot fault their audiology department. We're due to move back to the UK in August 2023.

Freddie has had some development delays in comparison with other hearing babies his age, mainly with his mobility, such as rolling and crawling. He loves music and books, animals and food! He always laughs if he hasn’t heard us enter the room and it makes him jump. He does babble a lot more now, which is music to our ears, and his first word was ‘mum’.

There's lots of worries we have around Freddie and his hearing loss. We travel a lot, and flying has always worried me with his hearing. We're currently on holiday in Greece, and Freddie has been pulling at his ears a lot which has me concerned. I'll be booking an appointment once we're back in Cyprus. He's also teething, so the ear pulling could be due to that. However, as we're always worried about his right ear (which is hearing), this makes me more wary.

Freddie is the happiest little man I’ve ever known, and we're forever being complimented on what a smiley, happy boy he is. He's a slow burner with his friends and takes a few minutes to come out of his shell, but I think this could be his personality as Nick and I are quite introverted too. He likes to be independent already with activities such as brushing his teeth. Although he's deaf in his left ear, his response to sound has always seemed very good. We practise flash cards with him, and he's already attempting the words. We're excited to see what he gets up to next!

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.