RIDBC celebrates inspiring fathers on Father’s Day

04/09/15
Canberra father, Dan Backhouse, Father’s Day will be extra special this year with support from SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, a service of RIDBC.Canberra father, Dan Backhouse, Father’s Day will be extra special this year with support from SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, a service of RIDBC.

For Canberra father, Dan Backhouse, Father’s Day will be extra special this year with support from SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, a service of RIDBC.

At just two weeks of age, Dan’s daughter Bella was diagnosed with profound hearing loss in both ears.

“Bella was our first child and my wife Rachel and I didn’t have any experience with hearing loss, so it was a really difficult time,” said Dan. “At that stage we had no idea about the services and technology available to us and we were unsure of the path we would go on. It’s only now, with hindsight, that we know that we had nothing to worry about.”

At eight months of age, Bella received cochlear implants in both ears by Canberra ENT surgeon Dr Peter Chapman, through SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, a service of RIDBC in Canberra.

“The support, services and the amazing technology from SCIC Cochlear Implant Program can never ever be understated,” said Dan. “Through access to early intervention support, and a good dose of dedication from Rachel and myself, Bella has blown us all out of the water. She has started kindergarten this year and is doing brilliantly.

“Just after Bella’s implantation, we met another family further along on their cochlear implant journey. Talking to them and other families on the same path proved to us that we’d made the right decision and that Bella would have nothing to worry about.”

Dan decided to get a tattoo of a cochlear implant to further support his daughter.

“Everyone has a different story, and different way of telling it,” said Dan. “I got this tattoo in order to support Bella in feeling comfortable with her cochlear implants. She is very confident in herself, but if ever there is a time she feels tested or unsure, I am hoping that she can draw strength from her dad who will always be proud to wear his.

“It also provides me the opportunity to advocate for the wonderful technology and support from SCIC Cochlear Implant Program and RIDBC. Strangers often ask me ask its significance and I share with them our story. It provides an opportunity for strangers to approach me with their own stories of how cochlear implants have positively impacted their lives, or the lives of someone they know.

“For me, every day is Father’s Day. When your kids give you a hug, you feel you are the centre of their universe and you don’t need a set date on the calendar to feel that.” 

SCIC Cochlear Implant Program supports clients to access a range of implantable hearing devices according to their needs. The program provides support for life with a seamless, end-to-end suite of services, from early intervention and education; through to specialist assessment; surgical liaison and support; and re/habilitation services, delivering the highest level of care and support to people of all ages.

With 17 sites across Australia, RIDBC enables you to access services from any one of our centres. For those in regional and remote locations, our advanced videoconferencing and device mapping technology enables us to deliver services directly into your home, no matter where you live.

For more information about cochlear implants or SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, visit ridbc.org.au/scic or call 1300 658 981.

RIDBC is Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and cochlear implant services for people with hearing or vision loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in the lives of children and adults with vision or hearing loss.