A profoundly deaf six-year-old from Littlehampton needs your help to receive special radio aids which would help keep him safe, improve his understanding of the world around him and allow him to join in games with his friends.
Stanley Dalby is an active and independent little boy who loves sport, singing and dancing – but without being able to hear instructions clearly, he isn’t able to join in with many activities.
Although two cochlear implants in 2013 improved Stanley’s hearing and allowed him to hear some sounds for the first time, they have a limited range of about two meters. This means he can’t hear warnings shouted from beyond that distance, traffic noise or instructions as part of a game, which sadly means he can’t join in many activities his friends take for granted.
But for Stanley, who has a severe speech and language delay, there is a solution which would enable him to take part in many more activities, boost his development and help keep him safe. Radio aids, which cost £1,190, would change his life, enabling him to hear a wider range of sounds more clearly and without other noises interfering, as hearing aid users can find background noise levels as loud as the voice they want to hear.
However, with no funding available from their local Statutory Services for the equipment, Stanley’s parents Nikki and Jamie turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness for help. Mum Nikki said: “If I could take my ears off and give them to Stanley I would – in a heartbeat. “The cochlear implants work well and although he wasn’t keen for the first year, he now puts them on himself in the morning and says ‘hello mummy or daddy’ to show us they are working, and then puts his thumb up.
“But anything Stanley does, we have to be right with him. The limited range of the implants mean he simply wouldn’t hear us otherwise. So now Stanley has to be the kid whose mum or dad is always with him. He’s a very active little boy and he just wants to go out and do things, but he wouldn’t hear me yell ‘stop’, or ‘wait’ which puts him at risk.
“He has access to radio aids at school, which help him learn, but they can’t come home with him, which means he misses out on a lot and this really upset him. When school explained he couldn’t have the radio aids at home he spent a whole night just crying.”
With radio aids at home too Stanley would be able to hear more words and sounds which would help his speech and language, develop his understanding of the world, improve his safety awareness and he would be able to block out external noises so he could concentrate. The wireless system would also mean he could play with his little brother, Ollie, who gets upset when Stanley can’t hear him when they are out together at places like their local park.
Nikki adds: “Radio aids would let Stanley do the things he wants to do, now and in the future. If someone else is wearing the transmitter they can speak directly to him, so he could chat with a friend while they went for a bike ride, join beavers and play sports which he is desperate to try. He loves listening to everything and he asks lots of questions about what he hears. The radio aids would really help him.”
With applications to Newlife up on last year, the charity is increasingly looking to ‘local heroes’ to help fund vital equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in their own counties. If you would like to help Stanley, visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk/westsussex, read his story and click the ‘Donate Now’ button. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of the money donated to help Stanley will be used to fund his radio aids. Any surplus funding will help provide equipment for other disabled children in the county as Stanley is one of four families in West Sussex currently working with the charity. For full details of Newlife Foundation’s range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) – or go to: https://newlifecharity.co.uk
Pictured: Stanley Dalby