Exmouth mum ‘so grateful’ after social media strangers locate little boy’s lost hearing implant

PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 February 2018

Naomi Berriman and her son Theo.

Naomi Berriman and her son Theo.

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“I couldn’t believe how many people offered to help on Facebook. It was amazing. I can’t put it into words – I am so, so grateful. Lots of people have also sent me private messages offering to help – It has been overwhelming,” said Naomi Berriman, after her little boy’s valuable cochlear implant was lost in Exmouth, but found the same day, thanks to support from local social media users.

Theo's state-of-the-art cochlear implant, which was lost in Exmouth last Thursday, before a social media appeal reunited him with it.Theo's state-of-the-art cochlear implant, which was lost in Exmouth last Thursday, before a social media appeal reunited him with it.

An Exmouth mum says she was ‘overwhelmed’ when a wave of social media support helped locate her little boy’s lost hearing aid.

A shopping trip to Exmouth last week ended in tears and panic for Naomi Berriman and her two year-old son Theo, when his valuable cochlear implant went missing.

But just a short time afterwards she was left ‘amazed’ by the speed at which social media saved the day following an appeal for help on Facebook, which was shared more than 200 times.

She wrote: “My little boy is profoundly deaf and has cochlear implants. We have been into Exmouth town today and one has fallen off.

Two-year-old Theo, from Exmouth, cannot hear at all without his cochlear implant.Two-year-old Theo, from Exmouth, cannot hear at all without his cochlear implant.

“I have retraced steps but nothing. I’m in bits! Please can everyone keep their eyes open around co-op & boots! He has no hearing without these.”

In a matter of hours the post on the ‘Exmouth Community’ group had been shared 225 times, with Naomi inundated by sympathetic comments and offers of help.

And it wasn’t long before Cooperative called to let her know the implant was safe and sound in its Exmouth store.

Naomi said she had called her mum in tears when she first noticed the implant was missing, and explained to the Journal why she had good reason panic.

“It has taken me more than a year to get this implant. We would have had to wait for one to come from Australia, which would have taken weeks or months,” she said.

Theo has the newest model of cochlear implant and is one of only four people in the UK to be fitted with it. The equipment is so cutting edge that staff at Bristol Hospital required training to work with it.

Naomi said: “He is a lot quieter when he doesn’t have it. It makes me sad because he is in a silent world.”

The implant is an essential tool for Theo’s development, which is behind where it should be because of his hearing.

Having only moved to Exmouth months ago, Naomi said she has found people extremely friendly and welcoming - with this being the latest display of kindness from strangers.

She said: “I couldn’t believe how many people offered to help on Facebook. It was amazing. I can’t put it into words – I am so, so grateful. Lots of people have also sent me private messages offering to help – It has been overwhelming.

“I made it clear that the monetary value was not an issue, but one man said his business would happily donate – it’s so kind.”

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