Daisy and her twin sister from Scotland were born prematurely in Tayside – they weighed only a few pounds. Daisy then developed septicaemia. After recovering she didn’t pass her newborn hearing screening at six weeks old and then her profound hearing loss was confirmed at three months.

As first-time parents, with no experience of any deaf family or friends, we were devastated. I had never even heard of a cochlear implant and the professionals we met explained we should set very low expectations for Daisy – the future looked incredibly bleak.

We were determined to get the very best support for Daisy and while researching cochlear implants I came across lots of videos of deaf children speaking. We decided that for us we wanted Daisy to learn to speak and came across Auditory Verbal UK.

From our very first phone call with the charity everything changed. It was the first time we were given any hope and were told that she would absolutely be able to fulfil her potential just like her twin sister.

We started Auditory Verbal therapy, delivered by AVUK, when Daisy was nine-months old, before her cochlear implant surgery, which took place when she was 14-months old. By the time she was two, Daisy had already achieved age-appropriate spoken language skills. She was able to do what her hearing peers were doing.

For every fortnightly session we had to travel from Scotland down to AVUK’s Oxfordshire base – which more than a decade ago was the only option but it was more than worth it.

From my research I could see that cochlear implants would give Daisy access to sound but she also needed to understand that sound and what her brain was receiving. The specialist support of Auditory Verbal therapy did just that. It coached us as parents to use play and every day activities to support Daisy to listen and speak.

Daisy has always attended mainstream school and now at 14 she is preparing for her National 5s and is very definite that she will go to university. She is thriving at school and we are very proud of her.

Her Dad is a musician so we were so worried when she was diagnosed as deaf that she wouldn’t be able to enjoy music, but now – thanks to her hearing technology and early support of Auditory Verbal therapy - she loves music and plays the piano. Daisy is also very artistic and is very driven, campaigning for issues she believes in, such as mitigating climate change.

Being deaf has never held Daisy back and has never been an issue for her because of the early support we received as a family. She happily talks to people about being deaf and her implants, and how she can do anything her hearing friends can do. She is just like every other 14 year old girl.


Katrina – Daisy’s Mum