A Marvel-mad seven-year-old can finally dress up as her favourite superheroes, thanks to a state-of-the-art hearing aid.
Lola McKnight was issued with the discreet aid, which sticks to the skin behind the ear, last month, and mum Frankie says it has helped not just her hearing, but her confidence too.
She said: “We got a call in September asking if Lola would like to have a trial of an advanced hearing aid and we jumped at the chance.
“Now Lola has her own superhuman hearing.
“She could hear the difference straight away. She though the birds sounded like dinosaurs and said to me: ‘Mummy, you are too loud.’”
Lola was born with a flap of skin in place of her right ear. Known as microtia, the medical condition occurs in only one in 7,000 births.
Though Lola’s inner ear is healthy, the middle ear and ear canal are absent, which prevents sound waves passing through her ear in the normal way.
Parents Frankie and Simon were warned that she would suffer hearing loss unless she wore a hearing aid, and at the age of five months, Lola was issued with a bone activated hearing aid, held in place by a headband.
Although the headband had never caused any discomfort, Frankie explained, Lola was keen to replace it.
Frankie said: “Lola has always been bright and bubbly.
“She has never let it get in the way of what she wants to do, so that has helped us, as a family, see that she will be okay.
“She would grab at the headband like crazy, we were always having to put it back in place and tell her to leave it.
“She had to keep it on otherwise she couldn’t hear.”
Now, Lola is free to go without her headband, and spends her time dressing up as her favourite superheroes - Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk.
Frankie said: “The advanced technology means she can hear better, which is great – but Lola is happier to lose the headband, it really ruined her street cred.
“She is a real tomboy, she loves watching shark videos with her dad, runs a boys only dinosaur club and would not be seen in a skirt – but most of all she loves superheroes.”
A spokesperson for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Audiology Service said: “Lola was getting fed up with having to wear a Softband hearing device so we thought it would be a good idea for her to trial the new Adhear device.
“Like the Softband, the Adhear vibrates the bone behind the ear to send sound directly to the inner ear but, unlike the Softband, is kept in place by an adhesive sticker.
“We’re delighted that Lola is very happy with the new device and is doing well.
“We pride ourselves on providing an excellent service and helping children manage their hearing loss in the best way for them, so they feel comfortable and can get on with their lives.”
Visit www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk to see a video of Lola receiving her new hearing aid.