Mom Makes’ Kids’ Hearing Aids Fun By Turning Them Into Cartoon Characters
Sarah Ivermee is a mother from the United Kingdom who gave birth to her son Freddie back in 2011. The little boy was born prematurely and was soon diagnosed with a virus called Congenital CMV, which left him profoundly deaf in one ear and moderately to severely deaf in the other.
Freddie was only two months old when he was fitted with a single hearing aid.
In 2014, Freddie was given a cochlear implant for his profoundly deaf ear, and he absolutely loved it. Though Freddie was happy with his implant, Sarah quickly learned that not all children in his situation felt the same way about their’s.
“Unfortunately we learnt very quickly that not all families have had such a smooth ride, having lots of problems with children not wanting to wear their devices as they look ‘ugly and unappealing,'” Sarah said. “We did some research and found there was not a lot available to improve the look of hearing devices and decided there must be something we could do.”
When Sarah heard that a friend’s 9-year-old daughter felt out-of-place while wearing her device, she offered to decorate it with stickers for her, turning it into something the little girl loved.
“She loves them and loves the fact that she can have fancy designs and her friends don’t,” Sarah said.
This experience inspired Sarah to help even more kids learn to love their implants. In 2014, she founded the company Lugs, which sells custom-made kits families could use to decorate hearing aids and cochlear implants. Thanks to these kits, kids can decorate their devices with everything from flowers and butterflies to superheroes and cartoon characters
“I thought there would be a lot of families struggling with children who don’t want to wear their [hearing devices], and I felt I had to help,” Sarah explained. “Knowing children are not just happy to wear their hearing aids and cochlears but that they are proud to show them off makes it all worthwhile.”
The kits are changing the lives of families all over the world. One mother even said that she used a kit to decorate her three month-old daughter’s device!
We applaud Sarah for going above and beyond to help hearing-impaired kids feel more confidant about themselves!