A profoundly deaf boy may soon be able to hear again, following an online campaign to replace his lost cochlear ear implant processor.
Nearly £800 has already been raised for a new sound processor for six-year-old Ashton Lynass from Accrington, after he lost the hearing device on a family day out.
Ashton, who attends Royal Cross Primary School in Preston, is profoundly deaf and underwent surgery for his first cochlear implant, a device which help transmit sound signals to the brain, when he was two years old. He was fitted with an implant in his other ear two years later.
Ashton was left unable to hear after losing the sound processor for one of his implants on a trip to the Eureka Science Museum in Halifax on April 7.
Ashton’s mum Chanel Barton said: “I didn’t realise it was missing until we got on the train to come home.
“It was horrible. I rang the museum, the railway company and the police, but no one had found it.”
Chanel took to Facebook to try and find the vital medical device. Her appeal went viral, eventually being spotted and shared by online lost-and-found site Lostbox. Although over a million people saw the appeal, sadly no one came forward.
Ashton was given a sound processor for three months, but his family will soon have to reapply to the NHS for a permanent replacement, a process which could take months.
Ordering a replacement could also mean he would have to wait longer for upgrades in the future.
Along with Lostbox founder Claire Owen, Chanel has begun a JustGiving page to raise £5,000 to buy a new processor.
The campaign has attracted help from across the country.
Jacqui Learoyd, a speech therapist from Shropshire, said: “I saw Chanel’s appeal back in April and it really struck a chord with me. My daughter Anna is hearing impaired and I know how life-changing hearing aids can be.
“I got in contact with Chanel via Facebook, and with Claire Owen we all decided to try crowdfunding to raise the money.”
She added: “Hearing is so important for children’s learning and development. Ashton really needs this device.”
Donations for Ashton’s new sound processor can be made at crowdfunding.justgiving.com/helpashtontohearagain