Lego and battery removed from boys ear

Well Foundation CEO Andrew Young and the Raki family, Tania, Etua and Shantelle at yesterday's launch. Photo/Supplied
Well Foundation CEO Andrew Young and the Raki family, Tania, Etua and Shantelle at yesterday's launch. Photo/Supplied

It's not uncommon for young boys to complain of a phantom sicknesses to get out of school.

But 10-year-old Etua Raki wasn't faking - it turns out he had a piece of Lego and a battery inside his ear canal for years.

On a vist to a Waitemata DHB mobile health clinic, Etua's mother Tania said she was shocked when the nurse told her of the discovery.

"They said, 'There's something in his ear'... It was actually two things - a rusty battery from a watch and a piece of Lego.

"[The nurse] put some ear drops in and the pieces started floating up and she said 'I think I can get them out'."

Ms Raki said she was "quite surprised" when the objects were removed, adding the piece of Lego was a browny colour.

After the pieces were removed, Etua's sister Shantelle said she remembered him putting the pieces in his ears when he was seven years old - but no one mentioned it to their mother.

Etua's hearing immediately got better, but he still faces regular doctor's appointments and procedures to repair the damage to his ear canal.

Ms Raki said the reason Etua's ears are now fully organic was due to the convenience of the travelling health clinic.

"I don't know what I would have done if I couldn't have gone to the clinic."

Waitemata DHB has just launched a new, more advanced mobile health clinic, funded to the tune of $210,000 by the official fundraising body, the Well Foundation.

The new clinic will replace one of the two 18-year-old clinics, and has its own power supply, allowing it to travel to more remote areas without the need for an external power source.

Waitemata DHB chief executive Dr Dale Bramley said the clinics were important in reaching those who may not visit brick and mortar health clinics.

"It has proven to break down barriers that typically stop people from accessing health care when they need it and often before a small health problem becomes a big one. The new clinic... will allow us to reach more vulnerable people."

Well Foundation raises money to fund additional projects and initiatives for Waitemata DHB, including the $210,000 for the new mobile clinic.

CEO Andrew Young launched the new clinic yesterday, alongside one of the more unusual clients, Etua and the Raki family.

"We couldn't ignore the opportunity to take on a fundraising project like this which will help so many. We continue to be amazed by stories during our fundraising about children and families who have benefitted, sometimes in a life changing way, from visiting the clinic," Mr Young said.

"Knowing this new clinic will enable more people to get help when they need it is so rewarding for the foundation and its supporters."

- NZ Herald

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