A TWO-YEAR-OLD girl has become the first person in the country - and one of very few in the world - to have a new type of digital hearing aid fitted.

Megan McCourt from Middlesbrough is profoundly deaf and her hospital consultant recommended she needed advanced digital hearing aids known as cochlear implants in both ears.

But because the cochlea in her right ear is not the normal curled snail's shell shape, it meant a conventional device was unsuitable.

So her ear, nose and throat consultant at James Cook University Hospital, Mr Anirvan Banerjee, decided to try to find an alternative.

Eventually he found a straight version which matched Megan's ear and in the week before Christmas, she underwent the pioneering operation.

Megan's mother, Yvonne, said: "It is absolutely amazing for her to go from a world of silence to this."

* To read the full story see The Northern Echo today.