Charlie’s Story

Charlie, March 2011

In 2011 me and my husband were excited to welcome our second son into the world. As he was born and placed onto me I noticed his little ear and a large skin tag hanging from his cheek. The doctors and midwives could not tell me what had happened to Charlie or even give me a name for the condition. I went home that evening and resulted to googling it. Google confirmed that Charlie had Microtia.

Charlie, aged 6, after his magnet surgery, November 2017 at York Hospital

We had never heard of Microtia so searched for a lot of answers online until doctors confirmed Charlie had Microtia atresia and hemifacial microsomia at about 1 month old. Doctors reasurred us that Charlie did not need a hearing aid as his big ear worked perfectly fine. We accepted this answer as we knew no different. Years later we found Microtia Mingle UK on Facebook and they have been amazing. Microtia UK have given Charlie, myself and our family answers to questions, guidance, advice and enabled us to meet others with Microtia too. At one of the Microtia events, Charlie (age 5) was able to test out a BAHA for the first time. His face lit up as he told me and my husband that he could hear us in both ears! There was no doubt then that we would request a BAHA and give Charlie hearing in 2 ears! Charlie’s request quickly became a reality when he was given his BAHA on a headband. He loved the new sounds it gave him but disliked wearing the band. A year and a half after first receiving it, Charlie underwent an operation to put the magnet in his head so that he no longer had to wear the headband. This was the best decision we could have made – Charlie now loves wearing his hearing aid and it also gives him better sound than wearing it on a band. After healing, Charlie went to the hospital to programme the BAHA for his magnet….when we left he turned to me and said, “Mummy, the wind! I can hear the wind!”

Charlie modelling for Zebedee Management

Charlie, now aged 7, has gone on to become a model for Zebedee Modelling Agency, who only specialise with people who have a disability. He had a casting for Cbeebies and has done a catwalk show. He has won competitons and taken part in testing toys for our local shopping centre which was published online. Charlie loves raising money for Microtia UK and has currently raised over £2,800. He enjoys acting, dancing, singing, football, computers, coding and gardening. Charlie proves that if you put your mind to it then anything is possible! Microtia does not stop you from doing anything.

We have gone on to have another 2 boys (4 in total) and Charlie is the only one with Microtia. He knows how super special he is!

Charlie, age 6, with cousin Laicy and brother Reuben fundraising