Weʼve raised £1,470 to raise money for my new ear.
- Funded on Sunday, 9th September 2018
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Please help Michael raise £3,000 to get his prosthetic ear.
My 29-year-old son-in-law Michael Boateng was badly burnt as a baby (see his story below) and consequently lost his left ear. Since the age of 9, he has worn the same prosthetic ear, which is now broken and too small and desperately needs replacing. Without it for protection what remains of the ear is exposed and prone to infection. In addition, Michael’s sight is affected as he is unable to wear his prescription glasses needed for work.
Michael is a hard-working young man struggling to support his young family. A replacement ear which the NHS cannot now fund would cost about £3,000 - and in addition there are future maintenance and replacement costs.
Please spare a moment to read his story and if you can give something towards the costs - this would be so appreciated. I thank you for your kindness and generosity.
As an 8-month old baby I crawled to the end of my bed and slipped down past the radiator onto an uncovered hot water pipe. There I remained lodged with my face pressed against the pipe, the heat burning and melting away the skin down the left side of my face. In the 80's councils did not cover and safeguard these hot water pipes, and two weeks previously a little girl had suffered the same fate and had died as a result of her burns.
My cries and screams as a baby were so high pitched that they were barely audible - but when my mother eventually did hear, she immediately dislodged me and called for the ambulance. I can't imagine the fear, guilt and worry she must have felt. Thankfully I can't remember any this, but the visible scars that disfigure the left side of my face bear witness to the story. Multiple operations throughout my early childhood followed: skin grafts, comas and complications. The trauma impacted on me and the scars went deeper than the surface.
At 9 years old I was approached by an NHS surgeon, one of the best, and he offered me the chance to have a new kind of prosthetic ear that fitted over what was left of the melted conclave where my ear had been cut away. I didn't hesitate, not even after my mother had attempted to explain the implications. The operation went ahead and involved me missing a lot of school, Mum staying with me despite how difficult it was to arrange family support and care ...
I had two Branemark pins inserted in to my skull in order to hold the prosthetic ear magnetically in place. Today that ear is 20 years old, worn damaged and too small. Unfortunately, because of the current crisis in the NHS they have been unable to provide the funding for a replacement. Twenty years ago, as a boy, I remember the doctor selling me the dream - but even though I work full time and pay all the taxes in the world - the dream doesn’t last … and the NHS gift of then is not an entitlement now.
The pins at the side of my head are exposed and I have already suffered a couple of horrible infections, and I am prone to headaches. As a child I took my prescription glasses for granted, now however my sight has worsened by continuously going without them.
I am not defined by an ear, although my health and life can be massively improved by one. I hate asking for help - but I am reaching for help and support with this. I am trying to raise £3000 to fully fund a new prosthetic ear. The replacement can last anything up to two years after which I will have to continue to pay for the maintenance of it myself - so I am turning to my friends and the public for help with this. Please help if you can.
Footnote: I volunteer for a charity organisation called Changing Faces, as a media champion to campaign for equality and diversity. Our goal is to raise awareness, lessen prejudice and educate others about facial disfigurement. Individuals can be tormented and held back by their visible differences and disfigurements. There are however some incredible people in the world, and I continue to have faith in peoples’ generosity and humanity. Thank you.
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