Troy Probert, who lost his hearing after battling deadly virus meningitis, has finally heard his mum and brothers’ voices.
Cochlear implants were fitted and turned on by doctors at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. The implants function like an artificial inner ear, allowing 7-year-old Troy to listen to his family once more.
“When they switched it on it took a while for Troy’s nerves to adjust but you could tell the moment he could hear. His face lit up – it was a picture, he was so excited. It was like a miracle had taken place. He said my voice was like music – like the beating of a drum. He kept laughing and saying ‘talk to me mummy – I can hear you!’” proud mum Nicola, 32, told The Daily Mail.
Troy first suffered meningitis after he had fractured his skull, from falling off his bunk bed ladder when he was 2-years-old. The fracture, which also resulted in Troy losing the hearing in his left ear, caused bacterial meningitis as his brain fluid was infected by the injury.
He then went on to have meningitis in March 2007, where he lost most of his hearing in his right ear, and again in September 2007, March and December 2008.
“Contracting and surviving meningitis as many times as Troy is extremely rare. He is obviously a very determined little boy,” said a spokesman for the Meningitis Trust, who provided counselling and support for Nicola when Troy was ill.
The change in Troy since his implants has been dramatic. “It has only been a few months, but already Troy’s life has improved so much,” says Nicola. “I can’t urge parents enough to keep an eye out for meningitis and know the facts. In many ways Troy was one of the lucky ones.”