Now I don’t feel as shy because I hear much better
Poppy Edwards, aged 9 and prefers to go by the name of Pops, describes what life is like for her with her Bone Anchored Hearing System and being able to do all the hobbies that she loves, in particular, her kickboxing.
Pops was born with Microtia Astresia on her right ear, which she refers to as her “special little ear”. Pops recalls life before her BAHS journey, where she says she would struggle in noisy environments and especially the direction of sounds. “I especially struggled with the directions of sounds. This made me sad, and I would get frustrated easily. Sometimes people think I’m not listening, but it’s really because I can’t hear.”
Pops was at the age of 5 when her parents decided to trial the Ponto system on Softband which she remembers enjoying the experience; “I really liked hearing the new sounds”. Having seen how much the trial had meant to her hearing, Pops and her parents decided it was the right course of action for her to get the Bone Anchored Hearing Solution surgery. Recalling the surgery at age 6, Pops states; “I wasn’t scared at all. I don’t remember much about it, but Mum tells me I didn’t ask for any pain relief and I was very brave.”
When attaching her first Ponto, Pops says; “I loved it, I could hear lots of noises so clearly and my head was free of the Softband.” Pops has recently just been upgraded to Ponto 4 and talks about the benefits that this has on her daily life; “Recently I upgraded my Ponto and it’s become by best friend. I put it on every morning and it really helps me feel better, it helps me to hear, and gives me confidence”. Ponto also seems to help her socialise with friends; “Now I don’t feel as shy because I hear much better. I am also finding it easier at school now to keep up with conversations.”
In the last few years, Pops has been a very keen kickboxer, competing for a Welsh team and winning two silvers and a bronze medal, something which she expresses a lot of pride in; “I have been boxing for 18 months and kickboxing for 12 months and already I have achieved so much.” When she is not training, Pops enjoys relaxing with a book. Another hobby of Pops is wasting no time in showing off “best friend”, customising her Ponto with skins and stickers as, as she puts it, “hearing devices don’t have to be boring!”.
Summing up how she feels about her life now; “I am very lucky, I can do everything any other kid can do – but now I can hear even better than before.”