Surgery now underway for profoundly deaf girl

Last updated 05:00 24/07/2014
Ella Gavin

WHOLE NEW WORLD: Ella Gavin with her mum, Shai Ropiha.

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Ella Gavin is about to break free from her silent world.

As you read this, the profoundly deaf girl should be going under the knife for the first stage of a month-long process to install and switch on two cochlear implants.

Her parents Johnathan Gavin and Shai Ropiha were on tenterhooks when they talked to the Taranaki Star last week.

"We are trying to keep our mind off it at the moment," Ropiha said.

"It's a five hour surgery.

"At the moment it's exciting but I know when it gets to the time it will be nerve-wracking, scary and full of mixed emotions."

Earlier this year the Star highlighted Ella's plight, and her parents are still overwhelmed by the support friends, family and complete strangers showed them.

An intensive fundraising campaign was launched and the pair raised about $31,000 towards Ella's second implant, because up until May the Government only funded one.

The announcement of further state funding took the couple by surprise and they offered to return all the money donated.

But most of the community would hear nothing of it.

"A lot of people told us to keep it because there are a lot of expenses that came with the process, including a lot of trips back and forth to Christchurch," she said.

Ropiha said she now wanted to raise awareness about the implants and help others in a similar situation. "I like people to ask me questions."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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