Superfan gets Ed Sheeran's photo on her hearing aid
PUBLISHED: 16:03 07 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:41 09 October 2019
Everyone loves a bit of Ed Sheeran in their ears - but now an eight-year-old superfan has her idol with her at all times after her new hearing aids were personalised with a photo of the singer.
Mia Warren, from Great Notley, was the first child at Broomfield Hospital to request a photo of a celebrity in her hearing aid thanks to the paediatric audiology team, who encourage all of their children to personalise them.
Mia has seen Ed's latest tour twice and said if she could speak to him, she would say she "loves his songs" and "invite him out for Nando's".
Mia's dad Lee said: "Mia was more excited than when she opened her Christmas presents.
"Now kids are talking about the fact Ed Sheeran is in her mould rather than: 'Oh, you wear a hearing aid.'
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He added: "Mia actually passed her hearing test when she was young but we knew when she started talking that something wasn't quite right as I have a deeper voice and she struggled to hear me.
"We didn't think having a picture of Ed in there would be possible but the staff made it happen."
Other children have gone for bright colours or glitter to jazz up their hearing aids and paediatric audiologist Kirsten Bradley thinks that they are integral to the children wanting to wear them.
She said: "It gives the child ownership. They haven't got any control over someone telling them they have to wear a hearing aid, but now they can say: 'If I have to wear one, I want it to be this colour or have this picture in it.'"
Hearing aids can be fitted on babies as young as six weeks old and are a less invasive option than cochlear implants, which are used to treat children with no hearing at all.
The Broomfield department is keen to make sure the 200 children and families they support are happy and willing to wear their hearing aids and the personalised touch has made all the difference for children like Mia.
It is estimated that as many as between one and two children in every 1,000 births are affected by permanent hearing impairment in the UK.