Inspired by partially deaf son, mom designs awesome hearing-aids for kids

When Sarah Ivermee realized what a difference a hearing aid made in the life of her partially deaf son, Freddie, she set out to get other children excited about wearing one. (Sarah Ivermee)

(TODAY SHOW)-When Sarah Ivermee realized what a difference a hearing aid made in the life of her partially deaf son, Freddie, she set out to get other children excited about wearing one.

In November, the stay-at-home mom created Lugs — customized earpieces accented with decals, patterns and in some cases, ear-sized superhero figures. This week, her earpieces gained worldwide popularity when word spread through social and mainstream media.

The Cheltenham, England-based business that Ivermee launched from her living room even temporarily shut down its website, MyLugs.co.uk, on Tuesday due to “an extremely high volume of orders.” It was expected to be back online late Wednesday.

In two emails to TODAY.com, Ivermee said that she sold 100 kits in 24 hours, adding that the response has been “absolutely crazy!”

“We are just a normal family in a little house with a little business in the corner of our living room, trying to help make hearing devices more appealing to children,” she said. “We are not in it for the glory, but if more people know about us and we can help them they we are achieving what we want!”

Lugs’ story began March 17, 2011, when Ivermee’s son Freddie was born with congenital cytomegalovirus, which left him “profoundly deaf in one ear and moderately to severely deaf in the other,” according to the Lugs website. He was fitted for a hearing aid for one ear when he was just 2 months old.

When Sarah Ivermee realized what a difference a hearing aid made in the life of her partially deaf son, Freddie, she set out to get other children excited about wearing one.  (Sarah Ivermee)
When Sarah Ivermee realized what a difference a hearing aid made in the life of her partially deaf son, Freddie, she set out to get other children excited about wearing one. (Sarah Ivermee)

“We were expecting him to be completely deaf as the infection he had … causes profound hearing loss so we felt blessed he had some hearing,” Ivermee said.

About a month before his third birthday, Freddie was fitted with a cochlear implant for the other, more profoundly deaf ear. Luckily for his family, he embraced the new equipment, but his mother realized not every child might react the same way.

To read more on this story click here: Today Show

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