Miracle boy’s hearing op spurs benefit gig for Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Jack Scollick and Rik Gaynor
Jack Scollick and Rik Gaynor

A teenager who has been deaf since birth is now able to hear his idol’s songs after a life-changing operation.

Jack Scollick was born with Down’s Syndrome and a hole in the heart in 2001 and expected to live just three days after his survival rates were put at 8000-1.

He struggled to speak properly and tests showed that he had major hearing loss which affected his ability to speak.

Doctors suggested an operation involving a bone anchored hearing aid, which involved drilling a steel magnet into the skull, and a hearing aid being placed over it.

His parents Kevin and Jaime fought a long campaign to get Jack’s operation done on the NHS as the health service was reluctant to operate on a child with Down’s Syndrome.

Six months ago Jack, who is now 14 and attends Parkside School, was admitted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital to have one ear operated on as a trial.

His dad Kevin, of Hardwick Street, Chesterfield, said: “The fantastic news - and a surprise for us - was that Jack’s surgeon had supported us all the way and rather than operate once and then if successful make Jack endure another operation, he was going to do both!

“The NHS funded this procedure and it appears to be allowing Jack to hear for the first time. His speech is improving daily and he understands much better as obviously he can hear. He can at last play the CDs of his idol Elvis Presley, and hear them!”

As a thank-you for Jack’s treatment, his parents and award-winning Elvis tribute singer Rik Gaynor are staging a gala night fundraiser. Rik’s brother Mark was operated on at the hospital for a hole in the heart when he was seven and lived until the age of 38.

Rik has persuaded several tribute acts to perform free of charge at Real Time Live, Chesterfield, on July 14.

There will be an auction for a signed Status Quo CD, autographed photos of Barbara Windsor and Tom Jones, first class train tickets to London and tickets to Chesterfield and Sheffield Wednesday football games. Raffle prizes will include a barbecue and electronic tablet.

Tickets are £10 (standing) or £25 (VIP, seated) with all proceeds going to the hospital.