A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to 2022 Year 12 student Tara Storer who is an ABC Heywire competition WINNER, along with 29 young people from across Australia!
Tara was encouraged to enter her very personal story by English teacher Kerrie Ware and Tara was grateful for the opportunity to put her full story in writing. Below is an excerpt from ABC Heywire website. Tara’s story has also aired on ABC radio including Triple J.
That’s what I was prescribed after my parents noticed something on my pillow when I was three.
It didn’t stop the problem.
Back and forward to the doctors. Nothing seemed to change. ENT visits.
“Oh, it’s an ear infection,” they said.
They put in grommets and took out my tonsils and adenoids.
Six more months of gunk coming out of my ear and more doctor’s visits.
After months of my parents persisting, and more antibiotics, we finally had a referral for a CT scan.
Then another month before the news: a tumour.
I was booked in for surgery.
But the damage had been done. The tumour destroyed the hammer, anvil and stirrup bones in my ear, so I need to wear a hearing aid in my right ear. I wear one in my left ear because the hole from the grommet never healed over.
I’ve had seven surgeries, and there are more to come.
Because of my hearing loss, I struggle to understand a lot of people when they talk to me. COVID was especially tricky, since masks made lip-reading difficult.
School can be hard when the expectation is on me to hear everything, same with making friends, and both of those things made me anxious.
I might be missing some ear bones, but I still love listening to music. I just turn it up louder than everyone else.
Everyone gets to hear my country music!
I love riding my dirt bike on our farm, playing hockey, and swimming in the river with my swimming cap on to protect my ears. My other passion in life is baking.
Food is a universal language I’m very good at!
It took months and months and second opinions to find out what was really going on with my ears — but it’s so important to go with your gut and listen to your body.
I’m grateful for my determined family who listened, and supported me… “
Well done Tara! We are so proud of you, here at RHS. Enjoy the spoils of your win, travelling to Canberra in 2023 to be involved in more HEYWIRE activities with your fellow 2023 Winners!