A Carshalton schoolboy with “magic ears” who underwent a “life-changing” operation thanks to strangers’ generous donations is calling on more help for kids like him.

The mum of little Ben Wayne, now four, launched a fundraising campaign in an urgent bid to get her son vital hearing implants before his then-third birthday back in 2018.

Benji has Connexin 26, a genetic condition which is said to be a common cause of hearing loss, and was diagnosed with it at just four weeks old.

His family was then told his hearing would only worsen but, due to NICE (National Institute for Health and Care) guidelines changing, he couldn’t get the cochlear implants he needed.

Despite appeals to the decision from both Benji’s family and St Thomas Hearing Implant Centre, the NHS’s individual funding request team rejected the proposals back in October 2017 that year.

But after his mum Joanna Wayne launched an appeal to fundraise £80,000 for his “magic ears” ahead of his birthday the target was soon smashed.

Benji underwent the surgery in April 2018, with his story garnering national attention and led to an appearance on the television programme Good Morning Britain.

Joanna, a mum-of-three, said: “Benjamin was a borderline candidate and despite a long fight from his team, we had to fundraise for cochlear implants.

“We knew if we wanted Ben to speak then he had to have bilateral implants as soon as possible.

“Thankfully our efforts were successful thanks to our media campaign and some very kind donors and finally, after almost two and a half years of fighting for it, Ben was switched on in May 2018.”

Now Benji and his parents visit the charity Auditory Verbal UK, based in Bermondsey, south-east London, where they offer therapy to pre-school aged deaf children who use equipment such as cochlear implants and hearing aids.

Because of a bursary funded by Auditory Verbal UK the four-year-old and his family can now visit their therapist every fortnight.

Joanna added: “From the first session I could see his listening skills flourish and Auditory Verbal Therapy clicked with him from day one.

“I had structure in between sessions knowing exactly what to work on and how and it no longer felt like climbing a mountain as we were doing it in building blocks.”

Benji and his family are now calling on people from across the UK to support the charity’s Loud Shirt Day campaign.

The event will commence on June 7, with school children, office workers, celebrities and MPs donning their brightest shirts in a bid to create a “sound future” for deaf children, Auditory Verbal UK says.

Big names from years past have included television presenter Graham Norton, retired Olympic sprinter and Gold medallist Usain Bolt and YouTube vlogger Zoe Suggs “Zoella”.

To register for Loud Shirt Day, and find out more, visit:

www.avuk.org/loud-shirt-day-uk