Born five week premature, Benji spent the first three and half months of his life in the Coombe Hospital and then Crumlin Hospital. He was diagnosed with renal failure from birth and the first few months of his life were about stabilising his condition.
He had his first hearing tests towards the end of his initial stay in hospital and at 4 and a half months old, he was confirmed as being deaf. His parents then began the process of getting him cochlear implants. They felt that he compensated very well for a baby without hearing as they had noticed no obvious signs of his deafness.
A brain scan around this time also identified that Benji had global development delays and the discussion began about whether or not having one, two or any cochlear implants would make a difference to his future development.
Benji was fitted with cochlear implants only one month ago and his parents have nominated Mr Peter Walshe, ENT Surgeon to receive an Honour Your Heroes Award. Benji’s father, Eoin, says, “There was a lot of debate about whether it was worthwhile for Benji to receive cochlear implants given his developmental delays. We believe that if it was not for Peter Walshe fighting on his behalf to have the implants, Benji may not have had the opportunity to hear. We believe that having access to hearing will offer a developmental advantage to Benji that will ultimately advance his self awareness and we are hugely grateful to Mr Walshe for the connection he has developed with our son and for his support which has made this possible”.