One step closer to helping Danny hear

Helen and Danny Pickard.
Helen and Danny Pickard.

Life-changing surgery that will allow a two-year-old Burwell boy to hear for the first time has moved one step closer.

Paul and Helen Pickard, of Westhorpe, have raised about £22,000 through their Help Me Hear campaign - one third of the money needed for an operation for their son, Danny, who was born with a rare condition, Charge Syndrome, which left him profoundly deaf.

Now they have enough to pay for a deposit for an auditory brainstem implant operation at the University Hospital in Verona, Italy, which specialises in the surgery.

Helen said: “We have made contact with Italy, but we still don’t know when it will happen.

“It’s very scary. We want Danny to get the implant, but we don’t want him to have to go through the surgery. We have been through two operations with him before so we know what to expect, but it would almost be easier if we didn’t know.”

The implant is made up of an external part worn on the ear and an internal part which is surgically implanted.

Helen said: “A little girl who had the surgery 18 months ago can now hear whispers and bird song. So, if it all goes well, hopefully Danny will hear something.”

Since the Journal covered the campaign back in July 2013, friends, family, and even complete strangers, have rallied round.

“The support from the village has been amazing. People pay money into the account and we don’t even know who they are. It’s amazing, but it winds me up that I can’t say thank you personally. So a big thank you to everybody that has helped us.”

A fun day and craft fair will be the next fundraising event for Danny, held at Burwell Sports Centre on Sunday from 1pm to 4pm. Anyone interested in holding a stall should call 07913552068, or visit