Ipswich: Fire victim Terri, 13, to get new ears

IPSWICH: It will be 12 years on Sunday since Terri Calvesbert suffered horrific burns in a blaze at her home that changed her life forever.

But today the 13-year-old, who has courageously endured countless visits to hospital over the years, is set to reach a major milestone in her recovery.

The popular youngster is to get a set of new ears – bringing to an end months of delays and finally allowing Terri to be able to properly fit hearing aids, which will improve her quality of life.

The teenager sustained appalling injuries when a fire ripped through her Chantry home on November 21, 1998.

At the tender age of just 18 months, Terri, who is now a Westbourne Sports College student, was left with 85 per cent burns to her body.

But her grace and courage touched the world – and Terri’s tale has evoked an outpouring of love, support and donations from Evening Star readers over the years.

Proud dad Paul describes her as a “typical teenager” who enjoys school and is particularly good at art and music.

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She also likes computer games and, against all odds, has managed to lead a normal life.

Terri’s ears were destroyed in the blaze and since then she has learnt to lip-read. She has some hearing but cannot hear high pitch noises so the new ears, which are currently being made and should be ready before Christmas, will mean she will be able to have a hearing aid attached to them.

Her new ears will be attached by magnets. Once the operation has healed she will be able to have hearing aids fitted.

Paul said: “She is quite excited about it. However, we are trying not to get our hopes up because she was due to get them two years ago but then she got an infection.

“It will be strange for her to have them as it will mean she will be able to hear a lot more different noises.

“It will be strange for all of us to get used to it.”

On December 20 she is also due to go to Broomfield Hospital to get her stumps adapted to form hands so she is able to grip more easily.

n Since the fire, Evening Star readers have raised a pot of almost �500,000 for Terri’s future. Donations to The Terri Calvesbert Appeal can be sent to Michelle Dorrell, editor’s secretary, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN.

n Has pioneering medical treatment changed your life? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstar letters@eveningstar.co.uk

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