A MOTHER is appealing for the return of her three-year-old disabled son’s specialist hearing aid which he lost in Bury St Edmunds town centre.
Julie Jones says her autistic son Toby, who also has Down’s Syndrome, has been left virtually deaf following the loss of part of the £2,000 bone conductor hearing aid three weeks ago.
She fears someone may have picked up the device, which went missing between Iceland, on Cornhill, and the North End Café, in St Andrew’s Street North, thinking it was a piece of computer equipment.
The part of the hearing aid missing is a grey headband, which wraps around Toby’s head.
Miss Jones, of Eyre Close, Bury, said: “He did have normal hearing aids but he used to eat them.
“It’s got some sort of computerised equipment built into the band which echoes sound.
“There’s a connection on it and I think someone may have seen that and thought it maybe a computer device.
“It costs £2,000 which is why we would really like to get it back.
“If it had been found outside one of the shops, someone might have taken it in.
“At the moment, he’s not relying on anything else. He can hear very little. He just manages because he knows no different really.
“It makes it harder for me though because you have to make eye contact for him to do anything.
“If he can’t see you then he doesn’t know you’re talking to him so it could be very dangerous if he runs off in town. He wouldn’t hear a car for example.
“We don’t know for certain which of his conditions has caused his hearing loss.”
She has contacted shops in the area and the police but the device hasn’t been handed in.
The hearing aid was supplied by the NHS and Miss Jones is unsure whether they will receive a new one.
She said: “I don’t know if the hospital will replace such an expensive hearing aid.
“It’s a lot of money to spend on one little child.”
Miss Jones was due to attend the hospital yesterday.
Anyone with information about the hearing aid or who can help should contact Miss Jones on (01284) 717146.