Personal Stories

James King's story

“The tests don’t worry the baby at all, they’re free and you’ve got to know if your baby has any problems.”
Robyn and Brian King’s youngest child, James, was born in March 2005 in Waikato Hospital. When he was three days old, a screener gave him his first hearing test. Robyn takes up the story.

“The screening was done quickly with no stress.  James was beside me in the hospital.  I was flat on my back after a C-section and hardly knew what was happening it was so low-key.  The screener told me James had not passed the hearing test but that I shouldn’t worry because with him being a caesarian birth, it could be just mucus in the hearing channel.  She said I should have him screened again before I left hospital.  I left hospital without doing that but my midwife arranged for a second test when James was about six weeks old.  He also did not pass that test.

“We returned to the hospital for a audiology test.  James was amazing – he just slept in my arms right through the whole thing.  But at the end of it, the audiologist told me the news was not good.  His hearing was between severe and profound loss. 

“I was speechless, everything was running through my mind. I had never met anybody before with profound hearing difficulties and I just kept thinking how are we going to cope with this?  But the next day, an advisor on deaf children, Neil, rang and introduced himself and away we went with trialing hearing aids. Neil has been with us all the way and still comes with us to therapy once a week.

“The hearing aids were not so successful so James eventually had a cochlear implant.  The difference between before the implant and now is amazing.  He is saying mmmm….aaaa…….mmmmm.  I can’t wait until he puts them all together and says ‘mum’!

Robyn says she would recommend hearing screening to any parent. “The tests don’t worry the baby at all, they’re free and you’ve got to know if your baby has any problems,” she says. 

“James is a real bubbly, happy little boy with a great sense of humour.  He can throw a good tantrum though!”