Two years of success

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A PROUD mum has told of her amazement at the success of a campaign to send her son to America for life-changing surgery.

The Ear for Alex campaign is celebrating its second anniversary within days.

Its aim is to get four-year-old Greatham youngster Alex Million to the USA for surgery on two ear conditions. One is called microtia, which means his external ear is under-developed.

The other is called atresia, and that means Alex does not have an external ear canal.

But mum Katy Million, 33, is single-handedly heading the battle to raise £30,000 for her son, in a project called An Ear For Alex which was formed in 2012.

Katy wants to send Alex to America because that is where specialist surgeon John Reinisch works. He has developed the Medpor method of ear reconstruction for the treatment of microtia.

Katy’s determination to succeed continues.

In two years since Ear For Alex started, she has raised £9,250 and has praised everyone who has supported her so far. She hopes to hold a party to celebrate the anniversary, although the plans are still in the early stages.

But Katy added: “To have got to this stage is way more than I could have hoped for.

“This was always going to be a long term campaign and I hoped to raise bits here and there. I thought it would be money raised every so often but it has been amazing.”

Katy’s latest boost came when she sold balloons at the Greatham Christmas fair and raised £50.

She has previously run a marathon, and has set up a website to raise awareness of her son’s condition.

Being born without an external ear canal leaves Alex deaf on one side.

It previously meant that he got upset and disorientated when he was in noisy situations, such as among crowds or in parties. And if he ever picks up an infection in his good ear, it would leave him without any hearing at all.

But a recent development saw Alex get his first hearing aid and Katy said: “He loves it and he shows it off to everyone he can.”

It is a bone conductive hearing aid which is a box that vibrates the noise through his skull as opposed to his airwaves. Alex has a hairband that keeps his box pressed to his head.

Alex has lived all his life so far with a condition so rare, it affects only one in every 6,000 people.

Katy has set up a website with more details on the condition affecting her son. Visit it at www.earforalex.co.uk