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January 28, 2006

Girl, 3, says first words after ear op

From: Scotsman, United Kingdom - Jan 28, 2006


A LITTLE girl locked in a silent world has said her first words after a pioneering operation.

Ellie Ewen was born profoundly deaf, which left her unable to speak.

But after being fitted with a revolutionary ear implant, the three-year-old is talking to her mother Lisa for the first time.

The 22-year-old NHS worker said yesterday: "When she talks it brings tears to my eyes. So far she can only say a few things, but every time she opens her mouth it means the world to me."

Ms Ewen, from the Northfield area of Aberdeen, had no idea anything was wrong with Ellie until she was eight months old.

She became concerned because the youngster didn't react to any sounds around her.

Hearing aids didn't help Ellie's condition, so she was given the pioneering cochlear implant, which turns soundwaves into electric currents, stimulating the auditory nerve and helping people to hear.