Baby Hannah's Christmas gift of hearing

MARIKA HILL
Last updated 05:00 03/12/2012
Hannah Simpson
CHRISTMAS WISH: Hannah Simpson needs an operation on her second ear.

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With a little help from some rainbow tutus, an Auckland toddler will receive the gift of hearing this Christmas.
 
Hannah Simpson was born profoundly deaf and required two cochlear implants to allow her to hear, but Government funding only extended to one ear.
 
Family and friends pitched in and raised just over half of the $47,000 needed for the second implant, including a friend who sold hundreds of multi-coloured tutus for the cause.
 
Hannah, aged 6 months, underwent surgery for both ears last week and is now recovering.
 
She was just three weeks old when her parents found out she was deaf in both ears.

Mother Tarrin Wilcock wrote on the Facebook appeal page about receiving the devastating news.
 
"We had gone from experiencing the happiest moment of our lives just three weeks ago, to feeling like our world had been turned upside down."

As much as they were distraught by the news and frequently shed tears, Wilcock said they were also thankful for living in the 21st Century.
 
"The technology available today gives us hope that Hannah will be able to have as normal a childhood as possible."
 
Friends have sold bunting, cupcakes and tutus to help Hannah's plight, including Malena Penney.
 
She has been selling home-made tutus in a rainbow of colours for the past few weeks.

Penney said she had hoped to sell 10, but has already taken hundreds of orders for the tutus.

"I've had friends cut material all day with me and my mum makes a couple every night. It's just been crazy."

Her efforts raised more than $1000 for the cause, but she isn't ready to put down the needle and thread yet.
 
Penney said she planned to continue making the tutus until Christmas, which are sold via Facebook.
 
The journey is not over for Hannah either.

She will need weekly auditory-verbal therapy to teach her to hear and talk.

A cochlear implant is an electronic device that turns sounds into tiny electrical pulses.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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