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Logan and his mum, Marsha

Logan’s journey with hearing loss by his mum Marsha

Hearing loss can be a devastating long-term condition for children and there are currently no reliable tests that can tell us how well young infants hear through their hearing aids. But thanks to a unique donor-funded research van, our researchers can now travel directly to families at home, testing and engaging with more infants than ever before. Mum Marsha and nine-month-old Logan are one of 200 families participating in this revolutionary home research.

Marsha’s story

Logan’s always been a little happy chappy – even from a baby at four weeks old, he’s always had the world’s biggest smile. He likes to be around people and loves his little friends. They always go out playing together and Logan is usually the loudest!

The doctors caught his hearing loss pretty much straight away. They didn’t get a reading from the test they did when he was born, so we just kept going back until it was diagnosed within the first eight weeks. We were expecting it really, because we know it’s a hereditary thing. Logan’s dad (Mike) has hearing loss and it runs through Mike’s side of the family.

Hospital visits

Logan on a hospital visit

We were referred to a paediatric audiologist at our local hospital and we have to keep going back for tests, fittings and moulds. The travelling is a nightmare. Logan has three or four different locations that he visits and he gets agitated because we have to travel so much.

It can be quite disruptive. The doctors need Logan to stay perfectly still and silent during the assessments and that’s impossible – he’s always been such a lively baby. It was heart-breaking at times trying to make him stay still.

Starting the mobile research

One day I was told about a new research project at The University of Manchester, looking into the impact of hearing loss for infants. Our consultant thought Logan would be perfect for it, so straightaway I said I was interested. I just had to say yes, for Logan’s future more than anything.

Easing the pressure

The University of Manchester mobile audiology research van

I feel extremely positive towards this kind of project because it can only do good. It’s been brilliant having the van come to our house instead of me having to go to a clinic at the hospital. There was a big box of toys in the van, especially for a baby, and Logan loves it. It’s so much better for him because he’s so young and he’s still got his routine.

It’s been brilliant working with the audiologists from the University. They’ve been in constant contact with me and keep asking questions about Logan and his routine, so we can plan around that. And with the testing itself, we can always take a break if Logan is getting tired, but so far, he’s been so good we just haven’t felt the need.

Logan’s prognosis

Going forward, we’ve been given lots of information on how it will be. We’ve been told that Logan’s hearing loss is permanent and we know the signs to look out for to check that he’s developing alright.

When Logan gets to nursery, they will be fully aware of what’s going on as well. They have specially trained staff that will support him and they will check he’s not getting behind in his development. And his audiologist already works very closely with the nursery, so they’ll go in on a regular basis to check everything is as it should be.

We’ll always have to keep an eye on Logan, but hopefully as he gets older, we’ll see the signs better. It’s just that at such a young age, he can’t tell us, can he?

We just hope he’s happy, that’s the most important thing. It’s not just me and Mike anymore, it’s this little man, and as long as he’s happy, we’re happy. That’s all that matters at the end of the day now.

A big thank you

I’d like to say a massive thank you to the donors for funding such a wonderful project. We need more people out there to do things like this, otherwise we’re never going to get the research and knowledge needed to improve the lives of children like Logan.

The Audiology Research Van has been bought and kitted out through the generous funding of the Marston Family Foundation.