If there is one thing that all parents want in life, it’s children who are healthy and happy. They do everything they possibly can to ensure that their children have what they need. On occasion, however, the needs of the child may differ and in some cases, they may have special needs. When a child has any type of special needs, it’s important for the parent to adapt and to make sure that they are caring for them in the best way possible.
A mother named Sarah Ivermee gave birth to a son in 2011. The UK mother decided to name her son Freddy but all didn’t go well with the childbirth. He was born prematurely and he had congenital CMV, which affected his ears. He was profoundly deaf in one of the ears and in the other, he had moderate to severe deafness. It was a very difficult situation and by the time he was two months old, he had a single hearing aid.
They were able to get a cochlear implant for Freddy in 2014. He loved having it but his mother found out that other children didn’t necessarily appreciate the fact that he had it.
“Unfortunately we learnt very quickly that not all families have had such a smooth ride, having lots of problems with children not wanting to wear their devices as they look ‘ugly and unappealing’. We did some research and found there was not a lot available to improve the look of hearing devices and decided there must be something we could do.”
The mother decided that she would do something about the situation. She had talked to a friend about her nine-year-old daughter and found out that the little girl also felt out of place. She decorated her device with stickers and it turned out very nice.
“She loves them and loves the fact that she can have fancy designs and her friends don’t,” Ivermee said.
Suddenly, Ivermee had an idea that would change things for many children. She began her company in 2014 and called it Lugs. Custom-made kits to decorate hearing aids and cochlear implants were being sent to families around the world.
There are many options, including flowers, superheroes and cartoon characters. Kids love them!
“I thought there would be a lot of families struggling with children who don’t want to wear their [hearing devices], and I felt I had to help,” Ivermee said.
Ivermee sometimes has a hard time believing that so many kids loved her creations.
“Knowing children are not just happy to wear their hearing aids and cochlears but that they are proud to show them off makes it all worthwhile,” Ivermee said.
She uses social media and her website to display the devices. Parents are sending in pictures from around the world.
Parents will have to list their child’s device and pay for the item plus shipping. Typically, it costs less than $17.
She even creates holiday designs.
Lugs may still be run by one woman but it is growing. It is also getting a lot of positive feedback from her customers.
One mother said that she used the design for her three-month-old and it made the mother feel better!
The differences between us are something that all of us should appreciate but sometimes, it can make it stressful for the person who stands out. One woman is doing her part to make sure that those children are now comfortable.