A doting mother has shown the moment her meningitis survivor son received cochlear implants from their elf on the shelf.
Ben Farrimond, 13, almost died when he contracted meningitis at just 10 months old and has since been left profoundly deaf due to the condition.
To assist his hearing, the teenager wears two cochlear implants which enable him to have almost perfect hearing.
But after he lost one of his £3,500 (about $6300) implants on December 16, Ben was left in disarray and unable to hear out of his right ear.
However, when he woke up on December 19, Ben was shocked to see his elf on the shelf had ‘found’ his ‘magic ear’ and returned it in the form of an early Christmas present.
“Ben was with his grandparents laying wreaths at the cemetery when he lost the implant whilst messing around with his brother,” Ben’s mother Samantha, from St Helen’s in Merseyside, said.
“When he came back for dinner later that evening I noticed that the implant had gone and immediately I went into panic.
“We immediately went and searched the cemetery, but didn’t find anything for two days.
“Luckily when we returned on the Tuesday night, I managed to find the implant and quickly hide it so that Ben didn’t see it, as I had an idea.
“Then the next morning, when he ran downstairs to see what the elves had been up to, Ben was so shocked that his ‘magic ear’ had been returned and couldn’t believe how magical it was.”
A Christmas plan is hatched
Samantha, a full-time carer for her son, explains her idea to get the elves to gift him the present came when he spotted Santa in the tree of the cemetery.
“When he was walking through the cemetery he saw a Santa toy sitting in the tree, and I told him that it meant he was always keeping an eye on him,” Samantha, 35, said.
“So when I found the implant later on that evening, I knew that I had to incorporate him into the reveal somehow.
“Ben massively believes in Santa and the elves still, so it seemed like the perfect way to make him feel even more Christmassy.
“When I got home I quickly scrawled the letter from Buddy the elf, wrapped up the gifts and made sure the elves were positioned to give it to him.”
‘He can’t stop telling everyone’
So continuing on from the Yuletide tradition, Ben ran downstairs on Wednesday morning to see what the elves had been up to whilst he had been sleeping – but was left a lot more surprised than usual.
“When he opened the letter he couldn’t believe it, you can see the excitement in his face,” Samantha said.
“He started reading out the letter and was just so shocked to have received a letter from Buddy the elf, let alone telling him about his ears.
“Then when he opened the present he was just speechless – he was so excited to have his ear back, but even more excited to see who had ‘found’ it.
“It was such a lovely thing to witness as he was so surprised and now he can’t stop telling everyone else about what happened.
“And I think he’s definitely going to take better care of his ‘magic ears’ now Santa has instructed him to do so.”