A MUM has launched a £30,000 campaign to get her partially-deaf son to America for life-changing surgery.
Smiling youngster Alex Million is just three years old.
He has lived all his life so far with a condition so rare, it affects only one in every 6,000 people.
The handsome little lad was today praised by his Hartlepool mum Katy as “awesome” as she described how nothing holds him back, even though he was born without an external ear canal, leaving him deaf on one side.
It means that he gets upset and disorientated if he is ever 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.
Alex was born with two linked conditions. One is called microtia which means his external ear is under-developed. He also has atresia, which means he doesn’t have an external ear canal.
But now, his single mum Katy, 31, has launched a campaign called Ear For Alex to raise the £30,000 needed to get Alex to America to see the specialist surgeon John Reinisch.
John developed the Medpor method of ear reconstruction specifically for the treatment of microtia. Katy is hoping to raise enough money for her son to have it in California.
She has already raised £2,500 by running the Marathon of the North in Sunderland where she battled to the finish despite an ankle injury.
Other events could be on the way including a barn dance, pub crawl and a 1940s themed dinner dance.
She said: “Alex is a lovely little character. He is quite small but he is a proper little lad and nothing stops him. I think he is just awesome.”
But she would love him to have proper hearing and thinks the USA option is the best available.
“The effect on him at the moment is, if he goes to something like a party, he gets really freaked out when he can’t hear you. If you call him from across the room, he can’t hear you. He can’t pick you out.
“Calling him makes no difference because he can not tell where the voice is coming from.”
Mum-of-one Katy has set up a website where people can find out more about the condition affecting her son.
It is available at www.earforalex.co.uk and people can also make donations to the cause via collection boxes which have been set up in the post office at Greatham and in the Bull and Dog pub in the village.