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July 19, 2004

Girl with bionic ear is top pupil

From: CBBC, UK - Jul 19, 2004

A special electronic ear implant has helped eight-year-old Lily Davidson zoom to the top of her class.

Lily has been deaf since she was born, but was fitted with a cochlear implant four years ago, which means she can now hear everything in lessons.

Her teachers all wear special Britney-style wireless mics, which makes their voices louder using speakers.

Lily's so good at one subject, Language, she's one of only eight in her year to study it at a higher level.


People normally hear using very sensitive hairs inside their ears, which pick up sounds and transmit them through a bone, called the cochlea, into their brain.

But Lily was very ill when she was born, and the drugs she was given to save her life destroyed the hairs.

The special implant was put into Lily's ear during a two hour operation, and transmits messages to Lily's brain just like the hairs.

Switch off

Lily, who also plays the violin, uses the special system for most of the day, but always switches if off when she goes to bed.

"It's cool because I can't hear when there is noise.

"Other people have to worry about it but I don't have bother!" said Lily from Edinburgh.

© BBC 2004