THE lack of local support for deaf children has led the parents of two toddlers left deaf because of life-threatening illnesses to set up a charity.
Little Dylan Valentine and his friend Isabel Gardner have both been diagnosed deaf after battling serious illnesses, and their parents have set up the Flintshire Deaf Children’s Society as a way for families with deaf children in Flintshire to meet.
Isabel, 21-months-old, from Flint, became deaf after suffering from a viral infection last August, and spent two weeks at the Glan Clwyd Hospital.
“It was quite serious,” said Isabel’s mum Vicky, 34. “She almost died.
“The illness was apparently due to a cold sore virus that went nasty and went into the brain.
“It’s very rare and can be fatal.”
Isabel battled through the illness but has now been left deaf, has lost her speech and suffers development difficulties.
Dylan, 23-months-old from Shotton, was diagnosed as being 90 per cent deaf after he was born 11 weeks prematurely.
He spent two months in intensive care with a catalogue of complications including a brain bleed and breathing problems.
Dylan’s mum Nicky, 30, met Vicky at a meeting of the North East Wales Deaf Children’s Society.
They agreed that although they both benefited from the help offered by the Wrexham-based society there was little support in Flintshire for parents of deaf children.
Nicky and Vicky decided to set up the Flintshire Deaf Children’s Society with the support of Nicky’s husband Brian and Vicky’s partner Chris.
Nicky said: “It’s nice to speak to someone and ask if their child does the same thing. It’s things like, when he gets frustrated is it normal for a toddler to do that or because he’s deaf? If you know other parents you can ask them what their child’s like.”
Vicky said: “We discovered there’s nothing for their age group and instead of just moaning about it wanted to do something constructive.”
The charity held a fun day on Saturday and a playgroup is being organised, which will start next month and is being held in the Flying Start Centre, in the grounds of Ysgol Gwynedd, Prince of Wales Avenue, Flint, fortnightly on a Monday starting on May 9 from 1pm to 2.30pm.
For more information call Vicky on 07837906475, Nicky on 07717736733 or go to www.fdcs.co.uk.