Myboysare Both Deaf but They Can Live Life to the Full; MUM TELLS HOW SHE BATTLED TO HELP CAMERON AND CAMPBELL OVERCOME THEIR DEAFNESS WITH EAR IMPLANTS

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), January 8, 2013 | Go to article overview

Myboysare Both Deaf but They Can Live Life to the Full; MUM TELLS HOW SHE BATTLED TO HELP CAMERON AND CAMPBELL OVERCOME THEIR DEAFNESS WITH EAR IMPLANTS


Byline: Maria Croce reporters@dailyrecord.co.uk

PUSHING her baby son Cameron in his pram, Tamsin Coates jolted in fright at the sound of a dog barking.

But then she noticed six-month-old Cameron was still smiling, seemingly unaware of the noise.

Tamsin tried not to worry and doctors initially thought he could have a glue ear that could be drained.

There followed a year of hearing tests and by then, Tamsin had another son, Campbell.

As a trained speech therapist, Tamsin had helped children with communication difficulties, but nothing could have prepared her for the shock of discovering that both her own young sons were deaf.

The pressures of her sons' health issues contributed to the breakdown of her marriage and she was left to raise two disabled kids alone.

Tamsin, who grew up in Edinburgh, but now lives in the Wirral, has written a book, Meanwhile I Keep Dancing, about her experience to give hope to other parents of deaf kids.

The boys had cochlear implants fitted to help them - but initially Tamsin faced criticism from the deaf community for allowing the operation.

Now Cameron, 11, and Campbell, 10, are thriving and Tamsin, 36, who has remarried, has no regrets about going through with the procedure.

The boys were officially diagnosed as deaf together when Cameron was 18 months and Campbell was three months, after a special hearing test where electrodes measured the brain's response to sound.

"With Cameron there was an element of relief that we knew what we were dealing with. His communication was delayed but we could tell he was bright," said Tamsin.

"But learning Campbell was also deaf was harder to accept in some ways because he was so small."

Tamsin's lowest point came when she discovered there was a risk both her sons could also go blind.

She said: "I broke down in tears but I realised I had to find my way out of it because I couldn't live each day worrying about what troubles the next day could bring."

Tamsin and her husband split up when the boys were aged three and two.

"Relationships break up for lots of reasons. It can't all be blamed on what was happening with the boys," she explained. "Their dad is very involved in their lives and the boys come first."

Eventually, her sons were diagnosed in 2009 with a genetic condition called Pendred syndrome, which results in abnormalities inside the ear, causing deafness.

"I'd never heard of it," explained Tamsin. "It was a massive relief to find out what it was because we knew it meant they didn't have the condition which would make them blind.

"It was just a chance that both their dad and I carried the genes for this condition. It was important to know so we could tell the boys for the future but I've never questioned it or blamed myself. …

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