Deaf boy from Eastbourne launches nationwide event

A 10-year-old deaf boy from Eastbourne has helped launch a nationwide event to thank the charity which helped him learn to listen and speak.

Sam Callaghan was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at just five weeks old and had cochlear implants just before turning one.

The Auditory Verbal UK (AV UK) programme was recommended to Sam and his family – a family-centred early intervention programme which helps support deaf babies and children with learning to listen and talk.

Now Sam has helped AV UK launch Loud Shirt Day on October 22 – where people up and down the UK wear their brightest clothing to help create a future for deaf children.

Joanna Callaghan, Sam’s mum, said, “AV UK has been life changing for Sam and us. AV UK helped give Sam the confidence and tools to find and use his voice.

“Since graduating from AV UK, Sam’s deafness has never held him back. His speech is remarkable.”

Even through the pandemic AV UK continued working with deaf youngsters by moving to a digital platform.

Joanna said, “AV UK were a tremendous support. Sam had a very lengthy language delay (beyond that expected post cochlear implantation) and AV UK were there to help and guide us along the way.

Sam Callaghan SUS-210610-133329001

“Sam wouldn’t have achieved, thus far, and continue to achieve his full potential without their support and advice,”

Joanna said Loud Shirt Day is an easy way for people to make a difference.

She said, “Just dress up in your loudest clothes, get all your family involved and of course your pets and post your photos on social media #LoudShirtDay. Or why not have a Loud Shirt party joining friends and families virtually.

“Don’t forget to donate – it’s easier than ever online or you can text LOUD to 70970 to donate £5 or 70191 to donate £10.”

Sam is now loving school and has lots of friends. Joanna said he is ‘very proud of his deafness’ and doesn’t let it stop him doing presentations infront of his classmates.

She said, “He loves science, especially space and is a budding film-maker. He spotted a job title on a documentary recently, that of an astrophysicist, which sounded right up his street! 

“He is also very passionate about animals, nature and the environment and we regularly head down to the beach to do beach cleaning.”

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