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Jumping for DDCS!
by David Maidment

Our son Callum was born in Poole Hospital in February 2005.  Within hours of his birth, we were told that there were some physical defects and these would have to be investigated.  Little did we know what was going to happen and the roller-coaster of emotions that we would go though in the next 10 years!

The first year was the hardest as we didn’t really know what was wrong and to be honest, it seemed that it would be years before we found out.  We then managed to get an appointment with a wonderful doctor at Southampton Hospital who diagnosed Callum with a generic disorder Saethre-Chotzen Syndrome.  Our first instinct was to check the internet and find out what the future held for Callum.  We soon found out that every case is different and we needed to see what path Callum followed.

We then discovered that 10 years later, several hundred appointments at many different hospitals, one major cranial operation at the John Radcliffe in Oxford, several minor operations, we have a wonderful son who is funny, confident and we are so proud of everything that he has gone through, he has never once complained. 

Callum has a hearing loss, caused due to the small canals in his ear.  When Callum started school, he was given a bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) head band.  This hearing aid enabled him to develop at school and not miss out on the most important years of his life.

Then after a couple of years, we were advised that Callum was able to have a permanent BAHA.  This consisted of having an attachment screwed into his head and then the hearing aid attaches to the abutment.  The moment they turned on the BAHA we knew that this would change his young life forever – the smile on his face said it all.

We soon discovered the Dorset Deaf Children’s Society (DDCS).  It gave Callum a chance to see other children with hearing loss and realise that he was not alone.  The emotional support provided by all the trustees, families and children at the DDCS has been second to none.  We have always been amazed at the dedication of all the trustees and we wanted to try and say thank you, so decided to organise some fundraising this year. 

I asked around and three other members of the family also had the same idea – let’s jump 15,000 feet from a plane for charity.  We had all paid for the jump ourselves, so asked for sponsorship from friends and family.  We also arranged a table top sale, coffee morning and prize raffle to hopefully hit our £500 target.  After several months of hard work, we eventually managed to raise just over £2,500.  

On Sunday, 16th August we jumped 15,000 feet out of a plane over Salisbury plain.  This has to be one of the best things I have ever experienced.  However, knowing that we have raised this money for the DDCS is one of our proudest moments!  It was great to bring along my fellow jumpers and their family members to the DDCS Family Day – to show them the good things done by this wonderful organisation.  We know that this money will be used to help fund future events and activities for hearing impaired children and their families. 

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