A COUPLE have spoken of their heartache at learning one of their twin sons had lost his hearing – and how a charity has helped make a difference to their lives.

John and Danielle Williams of Denecrest, The Dene, near Consett, plan to hold a coffee morning in aid of the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), which provided them with moral and practical support.

Mr Williams said: “Our two-year-old twin son Alfie had a viral infection last April.

“He lost his hearing as result. And it also affected his balance and his whole progress.

“He had to learn how to walk again.”

Mrs Williams added: “I couldn’t just believe it when doctors told us Alfie was deaf.

“I broke down and felt really sad for him, not knowing if he would be able to hear music again or hear his programmes on TV.

“To go from hearing to just a world without sound must have been so hard for him.”

The NDCS family support officer Wendy Westgarth had provided invaluable helped practical and moral support.

Mrs Williams said: “We have someone who comes out who help teach Alfie sign language. They are also teaching his twin brother George and elder brothers Lewis, 14 and Charlie, nine.

“We are trying to stay one step ahead learning sign language, so when Alfie does progress we are in position to help him as well.”

The event will be held at the Leadgate Methodist Church, from 10am to 11.30am, on Saturday. There will be a cake stall, raffle, with all proceedings going to NDCS.

Those attending will also be invited to sign an NDCS petition calling on the Department for Education to intervene to protect specialist services for deaf children.