Bramford: Amelie’s dream comes true

BRAMFORD: For most parents, knowing that their child can hear them is taken for granted – but for Debbie Ward and David Jackson it was a day they had longed for.

Born three-weeks prematurely Amelie Jackson-Ward was diagnosed as being profoundly deaf at just one-week-old.

Within six months, doctors had diagnosed her with Type 1 Usher’s Syndrome, meaning that she is deaf but also has deteriorating vision.

But shortly after the youngster turned one, she had an operation which would allow her to hear her parent’s voices for the first time.

Proud mum-of-two, Debbie, 34, of Bramford, told The Evening Star that they expected Amelie, now two, to have completely lost her vision by the time she reaches 12.

Now her parents from Bramford are hosting a number of fundraising events to give their two young girls an exciting trip to visit Minnie Mouse in DisneyWorld.

Miss Ward said that knowing her daughter could finally hear her, was “incredibly moving”.

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She added: “We were devastated when we were first told of her diagnosis but so grateful to have another child, we were just simply happy to have her in our lives.

“She is amazing, she copes very well with her hearing and sight – in fact she has completely blown everyone away with how well she has coped.

“She has had six operations, two of them were cochlear implants – allowing her to hear.

“It was so moving to know that suddenly she could hear our voices, and know that we were talking to her.

“When I first spoke to her after her operation, I just burst into tears because it was a big thing to know that she could hear me.

“Even though it took a while, I always believed that she would hear me one day.”

Meanwhile Amelie’s older sister, Maisy, six, has been inspiring others to learn sign language.

Miss Ward added: “Maisy is great, she likes to help Amelie get dressed and she loves being a protective, big sister.

“We all use sign language at home, as well as talking to Amelie, so once a week Maisy teaches everyone in her class a few signs.”

More than �5,000 is needed for the trip to DisneyWorld, with three different fundraisers on the cards.

The first will be a charity gig in Bramford Village Hall on Saturday March 26, while the next day youngsters will take part in a fancy dress walk at Felixstowe Promenade.

Fishing enthusiasts will then be taking part in a charity competition on June 4 at Hinderclay Lake.

n Have you got an inspirational story to tell? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail