Let's get loud for children with hearing loss

With a 29-year history of supporting children with hearing loss across Queensland to hear, listen and speak, Hear and Say is calling on the community to register and don a bright shirt this Loud Shirt Day, to raise vital funds and awareness for kids with hearing loss.

After a challenging 12+ months, Loud Shirt Day is set to splash some colour and fun across the state with Hear and Say Acting CEO, Bridget Murray excited to unite the community for a life-changing cause.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of Loud Shirt Day and are encouraging businesses and individuals in our community to go big and bright, so Hear and Say can continue to provide our world-leading services now and into the future,” Ms Murray said.

“As a not-for-profit, we rely on the generosity of Queenslanders to help us ensure children with hearing loss are afforded access to our world-class hearing technology and spoken language therapy.

“By ditching your daily wear for a loud shirt and raising funds, together we can can open worlds and profoundly impact the lives of those living with hearing loss in our community,” she said.

One Queensland mum encouraging everyone to get behind this worthwhile cause is Catherine Rivett. She first knew something wasn’t right when her newborn daughter Charlotte failed her newborn screening test. After multiple tests, Charlotte was confirmed to have mild to moderate hearing loss in her right ear and profound hearing loss in her left. Charlotte was also flown to Lady Cilento (now Queensland Children’s Hospital) and spent five days in special care as she had difficulty breathing out of her nose, which she required multiple surgeries for.

After Charlotte recovered from surgery, Catherine was put in touch with Queensland not-for-profit Hear and Say, to help give Charlotte the gift of sound – hearing aids and therapy to help her learn to hear, listen and speak.

At just two-months-old, Charlotte was fitted with a hearing aid and began telepractice sessions with Hear and Say from a rural town called Yeppoon. Everything was smooth sailing for two years until Charlotte unexpectedly lost the hearing in her only hearing ear (right side). Catherine didn’t realise sudden onset hearing loss was common, and never did she expect it to happen to Charlotte who had already overcome so many obstacles at her young age. For a first-time Mum, Catherine said it was devastating to see her child (who was listening and speaking so well), to all of a sudden have no access to sound – and be unable to explain it to her.

From here, Hear and Say guided Charlotte and her parents through the cochlear implant process. After a nervous wait, Charlotte was switched-on in July, eight days post-surgery (see video link below – it makes us tear up!). It’s now been just over one month since her switch-on and Charlotte is hearing, listening and speaking just like any other kid her age.

 

For more information about Loud Shirt Day or to register an event, please visit http://hearandsay.com.au/loudshirtday and check out #loudshirtday, @loudshirtdayaustralia and @hearandsay on social media.


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