Deaf toddler’s parents told their child is ‘not deaf enough’ to receive life-changing hearing implants

PARENTS of a deaf toddler have been told he cannot have ear implants as “he’s not deaf enough.”

Benjamin Wayne, three, had an NHS funding bid rejected for cochlear hearing implants which would also help him learn to talk.

Benjamin was born with a condition called Connexin 26, which gives him only slight hearing in one ear

His mum Joanna, 31, says he will never be able to speak if he fails to get it soon.

A condition called Connexin 26 means Benjamin can only hear slightly in his left ear.

Joanna, of Carshalton, Surrey, is raising £80,000 for private treatment.

The three-year-old’s parents say if he does not have the implants before he gets to the first year of school he will not be able to learn how to speak at all.

Mum Joanna, 31, is forced to raise £80,000 to cover Benjamin’s treatment
But NHS guidelines say that he is not currently deaf enough – and that his parents need to wait until he loses what little hearing he has left before they will pay for the op, which is likely to take up to four years.

The NHS said: “We fund implants for those who will benefit most.”

Benjamin is completely deaf in his right ear and only has 50 per cent ability to hear speech frequency in his left ear.

Joanna Wayne says if he was completely deaf in both ears he would have been given the implants at his current age.

Joanna said: “He is such an intelligent little boy, he can count up to ten and write his own name, but because he can’t hear he can’t speak.

“If we leave him without the implants until he gets older then the language is lost and he might be left unable to speak forever.

“The doctors and his speech therapist want him to get the implants, they feel very strongly about it.”

More than £13,000 has been raised by nearly 160 donors since the campaign started on February 9 – backed by The Bradley Lowery Foundation.


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