Help Jakeem Mills get Cochlear implants

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Help give Jakeem the gift of hearing!


Jakeem was born in Trinidad and Tobago at 37 weeks and there were no complications at birth. He was mildly jaundiced but did not require hospitalisation. Jakeem had regular appointments with a private paediatrician in his first years of life and his hearing was believed to be normal. He danced to music and had been heard saying ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ as well as babbling other sounds. At 15 months his parents started noticing changes in how he was responding and at 22 months was identified as having a bilateral (both ears), severe to profound, sensorineural (inner ear) deafness. There is currently no known cause for the deterioration in his hearing. 

Jakeem was given hearing aids in May 2019, but no difference has been observed by his parents from their use. There is no history of deafness in the family. Jakeem met other developmental milestones in his early years.


Jakeem moved to the UK and Peterborough in November 2021 and lives with his mother and two older brothers. Jakeem’s family use spoken English in the home, they are learning sign language alongside him.


Jakeem started attending school in February 2022  


Due to his deafness, Jakeem’s communication and language skills are significantly delayed. He has no access to speech and the spoken language of the home and so has had no exposure to a fluent language during the crucial early years of language development. Jakeem communicates non-verbally- mainly through pointing, gestures, facial expressions and uses a developing range of signs. He understands he has a voice and vocalises some sounds, which can vary and have some meaning to people around him (e.g. to get their attention). Jakeem is at the basic stage of learning British Sign Language (BSL) and knows a few signs e.g. cat, mum, more. He is reliant on visuals, knowledge of routines and others modelling something to help him understand what is going on around him.


Overall he relies heavily on looking to others and copying to know what to do in the classroom and most places in private life. His level of communication and understanding of language is having a significant impact on his ability to access the school’s curriculum, and activities with other children in his age range.


Jakeem has recently been assessed by the Emmeline Center at Addenbrooke’s hospital and Bilateral cochlear implants was recommended. Cochlear implants will provide Jakeem access to a whole new world of sound and he will be more able to access the curriculum at school. Bilateral implants will also provide Jakeem with access to the spoken language at home as well. 

Unfortunately this surgery is not available in his birth country and Jakeem is unable to access Cochlear implants under the NHS, so it will cost the family £69,000.

Any donations made would be gratefully received.


7.5% of all donations to Tree of Hope in relation to this appeal will be allocated to the general charitable purposes of Tree of Hope to cover our core operating costs.


If we raise insufficient funds, or surplus funds, then the funds will be used, if appropriate, to fund support for our child’s needs in accordance with Tree of Hope’s charitable objects.  If in those circumstances we are unable to use all or part of the funds for the benefit of our child in accordance with Tree of Hope’s charitable objectives, then any funds that cannot be used will be transferred to be used for the general charitable purposes of Tree of Hope.

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