What is your name and age?
My name is Nathalie Lozada and I am 32.
What is your son's name and age?
My son is called Santiago Ospina and he is 5 years old.
When was your son diagnosed with hearing problems?
When he was born he failed his Neonatal Hearing test 8 times; due to stress and reflux (at the time).
I had a scheduled trip to Colombia at 4 months, he was tested there and the results showed some inconsistencies.
At 1 year old, we were all seen as a family and we were given the all clear.
At 4 years old (now in Reception class), I started to notice he was not hearing me as much at home.
I contacted the school and they also suggested some small distractions with him.
Phonic homework was sent home and he 'just wasn't getting it'.
I asked for a refferal and during the test at Evalina Childrens Hospital we noticed how bad his hearing had been affected.
I was hearing the beeps for him to put a little cube in a box and he could not react to the beeps.
I was told that he definitely needed hearing aids in a week.
This was a bit of a shock for me (I quickly thought about him being bullied, if he would find a girlfriend and marry in his future = i went straight into mummy-mode)
How was this treated?
The Audiologists could not tell us why there was a hearing loss for the moment.
They took measurements and we had to come back in a week.
A week later the hearing aids were ready, Santi loves super heroes so we named them his 'Special Ears';
How did he adjust?
The first day and week were very difficult for him as he was learning to hear new sounds he had not heard before, e.g. birds, leaves rattling in a tree and the sound of scratching materials (on his trousers and school bag).
The first day back at school was overwhelming, too many sounds such as the school bell which was too loud and all his friends asking about his Special Ears. He got a bit uncomfortable with them.
What was your inspiration to design, make and sell Hearing Aid Clips?
I started to search online and social media about decorating hearing aids and to my surprise a lady in USA decorates them for her kids.
She sent me an example and told me it was too expensive for her to send me more.
What are they made from?
How are they made?
My husband is a mechanic so we trial and erected different tubing and glues to use.
We ordered some charms online and began to modify them ourselves, they are made of plastic/silicone and rubber.
We ordered a wide variety for Santi to choose from, his confidence at school began to increase and all his friends would wait for him in the morning to see which decoration he would have on!
He is a popular character now.
How do you promote your business?
I decided to start a page on facebook www.facebook.com/santisspecialears to sell them so that other children/adults also have the opportunity to feel proud of thier hearing aids.
At what cost are the Hearing Aid Clips to purchase?
I sell them at £2.00 each and usually £1.00 P&P to UK and Ireland.
I do not do this for profit but to also put smiles on children's/adult's faces, that's why I have tried my best to advertise in newspapers, magazines, clinics, libraries and social media.
I have enquired about worldwide shipping but it depends to what continent and the weight if the package (although they are very light).
What is the outcome now for your son's future?
After many scans and tests we have now been given a diagnosis of Santi's hearing loss, we have been told that, both my partner and I gave an abnormal gene called Connexin-26, and Santiago received both these genes.
Research shows this gene only causes hearing loss (mild -moderate) to no other abnormalities.
What message would you like to send the health professionals?
I would like to thank all the doctors and Audiologists at St Thomas Hospital/Evalina Children's Hospital for all their dedication and patience with my Santi.
What advice would you give other people on this situation?
I would tell other parents to seek medical help the earlier the best, if they feel a need to.
What additional information can you please share?
How to order: on the page each decoration has a unique code, so all you have to do is message me the code and your email address I will then send you an invoice via Paypal and once everything is cleared the decorations are sent via first class the next working day.
The decorations will usually arrive in 2-4 working days.