Life Stories and Experiences

Elle Salkind's Story

Elle Salkind's Story

Hi my name is Elle and I am 13 years old, I have left sided Microtia and Atresia. I call my little ear 'Nemo' this is because when I was little and I started to ask my mum why I had a little ear she used the film 'finding nemo 'to help explain it to me. I go to Great Ormond Street Hospital for my microtia and have been going there since I was a few weeks old. When I was born the doctors did not spot my little ear, it was my mum and grandma, the doctors didn't even know what it was. It was lucky my grandma was there as she worked at GOSH in their medical illustration department and she knew exactly what my little ear was.

Having a little ear doesn't bother me, as I say "normal is so last year". I have had to deal with bullying and people calling me names but really it is them who have a problem and do not know how to react to someone being different. I try to not let it affect me, I do get cross as just because I don't look like everyone else why does it give them the right to pick on me.

I got my first BAHA at aged10 and then in May 2012 I had my abutement operation. When I got my hearing aid I could hear so many more sounds, I also discovered sounds that I hadn't heard before. I also see Mr Bulstrode, who is my plastic surgeon, he always asks if i want him to make me a new ear. My answer is always "No", I like my little ear, and don't want to change it. My new answer is now is "its kind of like Botox it all looks good but what does it actually do". For me reconstruction is not what I want, I'm comfortable with who I am, Mr Bulstrode is really good at making new ears and if I ever change my mind I know he would do a good job. My mum has left the decision up to me, she has always let me make my own choices about my ear and supports me in whatever I choose.

I have been dancing since I was 3 and I have won medals and trophies in competitions for my dancing. I am now grade 5 in ballet, grade 4 in tap and also take modern and lyrical ballet lessons, keeping my balance is hard but if I keep practicing I can get better. When I leave school I want to go to dance college and then open my own dance school.

Thank you for reading my story.

love Elle