‘Adorable’ deaf boy whose family is being forced to raise funds for cochlear implants to restore his hearing, steals the hearts of “This Morning” viewers, with his playful antics.
Benjamin Wayne, three, appeared on “This Morning” after his NHS funding bid was rejected for cochlear hearing implants.
This Morning viewers gushed over the antics of an adorable three-year-old guest’s antics on Friday’s show.
Benjamin Wayne was on the show with his mother Joanna, from Carshalton, Surrey, who was there to discuss how his NHS funding bid for cochlear hearing implants was rejected.
He has a condition called Connexin 26, which has left him with only slight hearing in his left ear. Though his hearing is significantly impaired, he does not qualify for the implants under current NHS guidelines – meaning his family are now trying to raise the funding needed for private treatment.
Ben’s mother said her little boy is ‘incredibly behind’ with his speech development because of his severely limited hearing, and she fears that if he does not have the implants his ‘window of opportunity’ to learn to communicate will be missed.
The pair appeared on the ITV chat show to discuss how they are trying to raise funds to pay for the implants privately, but it was Ben’s natural star quality that caught the attention of viewers.
Viewers called Ben ‘adorable’ as he lifted up his arms, clapped and beamed cheekily – all without ever taking his eyes off the camera.
Joanna revealed how the family are trying to raise £80,000 to pay for implants in both of Ben’s ears, and have so far raised £16,000.
As she told their story on the show, Ben caught sight of himself in a TV screen off camera, and began to put on a bit of a show.
He raised his arms and clapped his hands before his mother put an arm over them to calm him down a little.
At another point he lifted up his Paw Patrol bag and hid behind it and quickly looked back at the camera.
Viewers gushed over Ben’s antics on the show, with many calling him ‘adorable’ and ‘so cute’
Viewers were tickled by Ben’s cheeky behavior, and took to Twitter to send him their well wishes.
‘How cute is that wee laddie,’ one tweeted, followed by laughing emojis.
Another posted: ‘Aww bless him Benjamin is soooo sweet! I think it’s awful that the NHS won’t give him implants [sic].’
‘This kid is adorable,’ a third agreed.
Joanna revealed that Ben will soon be entirely deaf and is currently relying on hearing aids.
She said: ‘He was born with hearing loss which has gotten worse over time. His hearing loss is progressive so it’s got worse.
‘He’s incredibly behind with speech because he cant hear enough of it in order to develop it properly.’
How does the Connexin 26 gene cause hearing loss?
Defects in this gene lead to the most common form of congenital deafness
Everyone has two copies of this gene, but if each birth parent has a flawed copy of the GJB2/Connexin 26 gene, the baby may be born with a hearing loss
Hearing loss related to Connexin 26 mutations is usually in the moderate to profound range
Early intervention is essential and can be achieved through hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Audiologists believe that after having the implants inserted Ben will have the same hearing levels as every other child his age, but if he doesn’t have them he will suffer even more.
Joanna went on: ‘If we waited it would mean there would be problems, it would be too late for him basically. There’s quite a small window of opportunity where you can acquire speech and language when you’re little.
Ben beamed at the camera and paid no attention to the interview on the ITV chat show.
Vicki Kirwin, a paediatric audiologist, explained that the NHS guidelines are currently under review, and said they should know for definite if it will fund Ben’s implants in just a few months.
Kirwin said: ‘The national institute for clinic excellence produce guidelines on who should be implanted with the cochlear implants, but those guidelines are nearly 10 years old.
‘The evidence and the research really has moved on and we now understand that children with less severe hearing losses can benefit more from cochlear implants than they can a hearing aid. We think the current guidelines are too restrictive and they ought to be updated.
‘Communication and language is central to everything we do; it’s key to learning in the home environment, its key to learning in school and it’s central to our emotional and social developments too – learning to play with your friends, the sort of things you do when you’re young.
‘It can have a big impact if you don’t get the right support early on.’
A spokesman for NHS England previously said: ‘The NHS funds cochlear implants for patients that NICE have said will benefit the most.
‘Doctors can apply for funding for individuals not covered by the guidance, but to ensure we are treating all patients fairly, they have to provide very strong clinical evidence to show why their patient should have access to a treatment that others do not.’
Source: Daily Mail
Image credit: This Morning
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