Our miracle girl can?t wait for school



COCHLEAR implant recipient Madeline Richardson can't wait to hear the school bell ring for the first time today.

The playful youngster, who in 2003 became the first Rockhampton child to receive a cochlear implant, begins life as a Year 1 student at Glenmore State School this morning.

Yesterday, as she tried on her new green uniform and strapped on her big pink back-pack, her mum Christine couldn't keep the grin from her face.

"She can't wait,'' Christine said.

"There's not going to be any tears (from Madeline anyway), she'll be through that gate and off. She's very excited.''

Ms Richardson said it was a miracle her daughter, who was born deaf, was now able to go to school.

"She's just like every other fiveyear-old,'' she said.

It has been a long journey for the pair since Madeline had the implant inserted at Brisbane's Mater Hospital in October, 2003.

Then she spoke jargon only. The regular visits to Brisbane and hard work since have paid off.

"It has been a long time,'' Ms Richardson said.

"Both of us have had to adapt and it's been so much.

"She's a one-hundred-mile-a-minute girl, who is very independent and has done so well.''

Madeline will have her own fulltime teacher aid at school and will also have access to a special education teacher.

She has a flair for working with numbers and although she is a little behind in English, mum Christine is confident her daughter's willpower will see her catch up.



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