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File photo John Birdsall/John Birdsall/Press Association Images

Baby who survived meningitis gets chance to hear again after ‘ground-breaking’ op

Nine-month-old Liam Coughlan received cochlear implants after he lost his hearing as a result of contracting a potentially deadly form of meningitis.

A BABY WHO contracted a potentially deadly strain of meningitis has become the youngest person in Ireland to have hearing-restoring implants.

The Irish Sun and Irish Daily Mirror report that nine-month-old Liam Coughlan from Cork lost his hearing after contracting a severe form of meningitis that affects the brain last December.

Despite overcoming some of the affects of the illness, Liam lost his hearing but the quick thinking of surgeons from the National Cochlear Implant Programme at Dublin’s Beaumount and Temple Street hospitals saw him undergo an operation three weeks ago.

The severity of the situation meant that little Liam did not have to wait the normal six-month period for implants because of the concerns that the effects of meningitis might damage his ears irreparably.

Surgeon Laura Viani, who performed the operation, described it as “ground breaking” and said that once the implants are switched on Liam will undergo a five year rehabilitation programme which it is hoped will allow him to hear again.

The baby’s father John said the the family has been to  ”hell and back” but said Liam was “a great little fighter” and added he is confident he will have his hearing back.

Read more from Nick Bramhall’s story in today’s Irish Sun and Irish Daily Mirror >