Bay generosity gets Jurnee's cochlear implant

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Jurnee, and the processor for her left ear. Photo/George Novak
Jurnee, and the processor for her left ear. Photo/George Novak

A Tauranga mother is ecstatic after finally raising the $35,000 needed to get her daughter a cochlear implant for her right ear.

Esther Atkins had been fund raising since the beginning of the year for her foster daughter Jurnee McCaskill who was born profoundly deaf.

Mrs Atkins initially understood she needed to fundraise $28,000 to buy Jurnee's implant, but after a doctor's consultation the family found out the planned implant and processor would not work for Jurnee.

Another $7,000 had to be raised for the right one.

Born profoundly deaf Jurnee has faced a life of difficulties in trying to keep up with those around her. The 9-year-old has spent most of her life in silence, never learning how to speak or communicate properly.

After the Bay of Plenty Times latest story on Jurnee's plight to hear was published on Friday donations on her Givealittle page soared, Mrs Atkins said.

"We checked the Givealittle and there were all these new donations. We were going through them and we found one for $2000 and we were pretty shocked at that.

"We were all celebrating in the lounge, we kept on scrolling through and we found a donation for $5000 from one person.

Jurnee McCaskill will hopefully be able to hear out of both her ears after the cochlear implant is put in. Photo/George Novak
Jurnee McCaskill will hopefully be able to hear out of both her ears after the cochlear implant is put in. Photo/George Novak

"We were pretty amazed that someone would donate that much."

"It means the world to Jurnee and it will make a huge difference to her life to have that second implant," she said.

"We can't even describe how excited we are. I just about cried when we got the $2000 let alone when we got the $5000. It's amazing people care that much to donate that amount towards her.

Having all the money raised for the operation was a huge relief, she said.

"It means we can now focus on prepping Jurnee for the surgery."

Jurnee would go under general anaesthetic for five hours while doctors make an incision behind her right ear and put in the implant.

The operation would take place in the beginning of term three holidays, hopefully she would be able to return to school at the beginning of term four.

Two months later the processor would be given to Jurnee and her right ear will be turned on.

Video

- Bay of Plenty Times

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