Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Jurnee's fundraising hits a $7K snag

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A Tauranga mother who has already raised $28,000 for a cochlear implant for her daughter has been frustrated by the news she needs to raise another $7000 in just under five weeks.

Esther Atkins has been on a mission all year to raise the money for her foster child Jurnee McCaskill to have a second cochlear implant for her right ear.

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.

She was fitted with a cochlear implant in her left ear as a child but never received one for her right.

Ms Atkins said they had a pre-operation appointment last week after they raised the $28,000 for the implant.

"That's when they sprung on us something wasn't quite right. The cheapest version of what we can use and need is now $7000 more than what we previously thought.

"Basically the one we wanted to use, won't work at all. We are absolutely gutted.

"To have been told the quote, raised that amount and to be so excited we finally made it, then to go to the pre-operation appointment and be told 'no, you need another $7000' it's pretty gut wrenching really.

"But we are just going to keep on going until it has been raised."

Jurnee was booked in for surgery on the September 21 which gave the family only five weeks to raise the extra money.

* To support Jurnee and her journey to hear, head to the Givealittle page and her Facebook page.

Jurnee McCaskill with her foster mother Esther Atkins, who is determined they will be able to raise another $7,000. Photo/George Novak.
Jurnee McCaskill with her foster mother Esther Atkins, who is determined they will be able to raise another $7,000. Photo/George Novak.

The processor would not be fitted on her ear for two months after the operation because the wound would need time to heal properly.

The aim is for her to start school next year with both of her ears hearing properly.

Jurnee loves going to her hip-hop dance classes each week and is very excited to be a part of the end of the year production, Mrs Atkin's said.

The family had recently been able to get her a water proof cover for the cochlear implant she already had.

"So she can hear under the water now, we took her swimming a couple of times now. She was so excited she could hear bubbles and waves for the first time."

* To support Jurnee and her journey to hear, head to the Givealittle page and her Facebook page.

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