Christmas prize boosts infant’s chance of speaking

December 22, 2022
Marsha-Kay Ellington and son Jayden James.
Marsha-Kay Ellington and son Jayden James.

For the past five years, Marsha-Kay Ellington's son has been struggling to speak and hear, as he was diagnosed by specialists to be hard of hearing, a condition he had since birth.

It was Ellington's wish to have her son, Jayden James, enrolled in speech therapy, as his condition progresses. Her hope is for him to learn Jamaican sign language.

"He is not talking, he says a few words now and then but not much. He usually mumbles but he is signing now, so I won't understand all of it. I still talk to him like a normal child but my greatest wish is for him to talk," the 28-year mother told THE STAR. She said despite his disability, Jayden, who is her only child, is able to succeed in his studies at the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf. Her wish to hear Jayden's voice is now closer to reality as she was named a beneficiary of the Wish Upon a STAR promotion. Ellington was among hundreds of applicants who vied for cash prizes of $50,000 being offered by the NCB Foundation. The funds will be used to assist with paying for speech therapy sessions for Jayden.

"I saw the promotion and I thought about my son same time," said Ellington. "I felt good when I was told that I am a recipient, I thank God because I have never won anything before. I thought that they would look over me again because I am always entering promotions and I never got a response before. I was surprised and I am grateful."

Jayden also requires a hearing aid, in the meantime, but Ellington is awaiting a donation from the Government. However, she indicated that she is willing to accept donations from the public for the hearing aid.

This prize for the promotion will assist in adding merriment to Ellington's Christmas experience this year, as her usual celebrations are not usually grand. During her childhood living in Mandeville, Manchester, Ellington never had a traditional Christmas meal.

"Life was a bit hectic for me, living with my grandfather and three siblings. I only got to go to Grand Market. I looked forward to that because I could go with my friends. I had no family Christmas tradition; I only ate what we had, whether it was rice and dumpling for Christmas. I had to make the best of it," she told the news team.

Her desired Christmas meal this year is a nicely done steamed fish, plus she wants to spend time with her son.

"I am so happy for this assistance," Ellington said.

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