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Doting dad gets tattoo to show solidarity with deaf daughter

Are you worried about your children being bullied at school? We all know that kids can be cruel if they see something that’s a bit different. So how can you make your children feel less conspicuous?


A dad in the UK was inspired by a father in New Zealand who got a cochlear implant tattooed on his head after his six-year old daughter had a device fitted.

The tribute Alistair Campbell quickly went viral and encouraged Gareth Hickenbottom-Marriot, from the West Midlands to do the same for his little girl.

Eight-year old Briar was born deaf as she suffers from a rare condition called Goldenhar syndrome.

 This is a condition that affects the ears, nose and mouth.

She has been wearing a special hearing aid for the last five years.

Speaking to his local newspaper Gareth said, “When I saw the story about the guy from New Zealand I thought it was a great idea and a really nice way of giving my girl a little morale boost.

“I know it looks a bit odd but it’s nice to give Briar a lift.”

The dad of two kept his tattoo a secret from his daughter because he wanted it to be a surprise ahead of her 17th operation last Monday.

Kate Hanvey, who is in charge of the hearing implant programme at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: “It’s the first time we’ve heard about one of our patient’s parents taking such a step to show support.

“We think it’s a fantastic caring gesture.”

Gareth later added that his daughter likes the artwork on his scalp, saying : ”She talks about how she wished all the family had implants and she has toy replicas that she puts on her dolls.”

He went on to say: “It was quite painful but not as bad as a previous tattoo I had done on my kneecap.”

A cochlear implant is different to a traditional hearing aid as it does the work of damaged parts of the inner ear to provide sound signals to the brain.

Approximately 10,000 people in the UK have this type of implant.

According to the NHS website, a cochlear implant will not cure your child’s deafness, but it should provide a useful sensation of hearing sound. However it takes a lot of time, patience and practice to use it as well as possible.

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