Cochlear donations pour in for teacher

TINA LAW
Last updated 05:00 14/02/2013
Alice Woodcock
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ

WHAT'S THAT YOU SAY?: Mairehau Primary School teacher Alice Woodcock, who was born with little hearing, has suddenly gone completely deaf. She's on the list to have a single cochlear implant, but her school and pupils are aiming to raise $40,000 to enable her to have a double implant.

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A Christchurch teacher is "blown away" by the tens of thousands of dollars raised to help restore her hearing and her livelihood.

Alice Woodcock, 34, a Mairehau Primary School teacher, was left unable to teach after she lost her hearing during the holidays.

She was born with little hearing, but was able to teach after learning to lip-read, taking speech therapy and wearing hearing aids.

She now needs a double cochlear implant to restore her hearing and allow her to resume teaching. While one implant is publicly funded, $40,000 is needed for the second.

The school was inundated with donations after Woodcock's story appeared in The Press last week. Within days $34,000 was raised.

Woodcock said yesterday she was "blown away by everyone's generosity and kind thoughts".

"It has been inspirational to see people give so much love."

School principal John Bangma said he had been contacted by people from all over the world wanting to help.

"She's spent quite a bit of time crying because she's so overwhelmed by it all," he said.

The school raised $1400 from a mufti day, when it would usually raise about $400. A former pupil made 250 cupcakes and organised a raffle, raising $250.

"It's humbling to think that, out of something so bad, something so amazing has happened, and we've got this response from so many people," Bangma said.

"It restores my confidence in people."

Christchurch building firm Buildtech gave $20,000. Director Israel Cooper said staff were touched by Woodcock's story.

"We just thought here is an opportunity for us to help restore someone's hearing and livelihood and the ability to impact on kids."

Buildtech would pay the balance if the $40,000 was not raised, he said.

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- The Press

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