For nine years, or 80% of Jerome Bartens' young life, he was deaf. MVNHS© doctors were stumped: what could possibly be wrong with the young lad?
Finally, the specialists agreed (apparently without testing) that it was simply a build-up of wax, and that Jerome would "probably grow out of it."
The "when" was left to fate, or chance, or time, and the boy "struggled at school, couldn't hear the TV properly and was fed up with people having to shout at him" in the meantime.
Over the intervening years, other specialists examined Jerome, but simply reiterated the original prognosis. They could (or would) do nothing more.
And then, quite recently in fact, he had a life-changing experience:
"(W)hen playing pool with his friends in a church hall Jerome felt a sudden pop. He put his finger in his ear and there was the tip of a cotton wool bud which had been wedged there for almost 10 years."
Yes, a piece of a Q-Tip, which went undetected for almost 10 years. He's just lucky he's not elderly or fat.
Gotta love that free health care.