Little girl finds her voice
Leia Armitage, seven, was born without her cochlea and auditory nerve in both ears and was never expected to speak. But she can now tell her parents that she loves them thanks to an auditory brainstem implant.
Leia was the first child in London to undergo the pioneering brain surgery when she was 22 months old. The complex procedure involves inserting an electronic hearing device directly into the brainstem, bypassing the cochlea and auditory nerve entirely.
NHS England recently announced that the complex procedure will be available for children on the NHS at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. It is expected to benefit around nine children a year.