Carys Pritchard can now hear bird singing thanks to surgery
Carys Pritchard's family got used to having to raise their voices so that she could hear them but she now tells them off for being too loud and asks them to quieten down.
Her mother Helen Pritchard, from Swansea, South Wales, said Carys also had trouble with her reading because she could not hear the words properly but all that has changed since she underwent treatment at Morriston Hospital.
Mrs Pritchard, who said she wanted to thank the NHS, added that Carys was a happy little girl anyway but being able to hear had made a huge difference.
She said: "She says she can hear the birds singing in the trees when she's in bed.
"She can hear things from her room that she couldn't hear before – simple little things that we all take for granted but which Carys has picked up on."
She had otitis media with effusion, better known as glue ear
Carys had otitis media with effusion – better known as glue ear, a common childhood condition – in both ears.
She waited a while to have the operation but since having it she has been brilliant – her hearing is great
It is caused by a build-up of fluid in the middle ear, which means the three tiny bones that usually carry sound vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear are prevented from moving freely.
Carys had two grommet insertions – a very small tube placed in each ear to help drain the fluid.
Mrs Pritchard said: "Carys wasn't hearing very well at home, in school or when she was in Brownies, and she was prone to ear infections. So it was really affecting her day-to-day life.
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Her mother wants to thank the NHS and said Carys being able to hear has made a huge difference
"A couple of years ago she failed a hearing test in school.
"She waited a while to have the operation but since having it she has been brilliant – her hearing is great."
Carys also had problems with her adenoids that caused breathing difficulties and made her snore so surgeons removed those too and Carys now complains about her mother's snoring.
The youngster lives in Llansamlet with her mother and father, Tim, and her two brothers Ieuan, 11, and nine-year-old Gethin, both of whom have also been treated at Morriston Hospital at different times – Ieuan to have grommet operations and Gethin when he had suspected meningitis.
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Mrs Pritchard said the hospital staff had been fantastic and added: "Everything was explained to Carys while she was in pre-assessment.
"The play leaders helped put her at ease and the anaesthetist came out and told her what would happen.
"After her operation she couldn't go to the playroom so the staff brought her a DVD player so she could watch films in bed.
"The NHS gets a lot of criticism but I think it's nice to just be able to say thank you."