Hearing hopes for little Lexie ahead of life-changing operation
By Mary Dennehy
A TALLAGHT family is seeking the community’s support in giving their daughter and hundreds of other children the gift of hearing – and the chance to have a voice.
Kilnamanagh toddler Lexie Noone was born with sensorial high frequency bilateral hearing loss, which doctors believed at the time could be supported with a hearing aid – which the two-year-old has been wearing since she was seven weeks old.
However, over the past year, Lexie’s hearing has deteriorated, with the two-year-old now profoundly deaf.
Last September, Lexie was referred by Tallaght Hospital to the Cochlear Implant Team in Beaumont, which has given little Lexie a surgery date for February – which can give back the Kilnamanagh toddler the gift of hearing.
Lexie’s dad Greg told The Echo: “This surgery will cut off the little hearing Lexie has now and bypass the ear drum, sending sound waves directly to the sound receptors in the brain.
“During surgery a magnet and an electron will be placed on the inside of Lexie’s skull.
“She will wear a magnet and a hearing aid over her ear on the outside, which will send the signal to the internal magnet.”
He added: “This surgery costs about €90,000 and while we don’t have to pay a penny, the team in Beaumont desperately needs funding to treat more children.
“We are so grateful and appreciative that Lexie will now have the chance to hear and learn to speak and we want to give something back.
“We hope the community will support us in helping more children to get treated quicker and to receive the gift of sound and speech which we all take for granted.
“Lexie will require a lot of aftercare and hours with a speech therapist, but she is already babbling away, she just doesn’t know the sounds of the words she needs to make.”
Greg and Lexie’s mam Aoife have organised a fundraising night in the Kilnamanagh Family Recreation Centre on January 30, with all proceeds going directly to the Beaumont Hospital Cochlear Implant Team.
Aoife said: “I am waiting for the moment that my little girl calls me mammy and tells me that she loves me.
“By giving this to Lexie and hundreds of other children like her, she will get what everyone of us takes for granted.
“This [surgery] will give Lexie the precious gift of speech and communication, which is what she needs as a child to grow and develop.”
The Noone family has thanked members of the community, local businesses and support services like Tallaght DeafHear for all of their support to date, and has extended an invitation to the whole of Tallaght to support their fundraiser by donating raffle prizes, services or attend on the night.
The fundraising event kicks off at 8pm on January 30 and anybody who wishes to offer support is encouraged to call 085 1297408 or visit the Love Lexie Facebook page.