A TEACHER of the Deaf from Cardigan will be tackling a gruelling 100-mile charity bike marathon next month fuelled by the difficulties encountered by her young daughter as a profoundly Deaf person.

Mum-of-two Kristy Hopkins recently endured an anxious period while 12-year-old Ffion-Haf spent six weeks in hospital due to an extremely severe ear infection.

The youngster’s stay was made all the more difficult by the fact staff had to wear face masks, making communication impossible.

Cardiff-based Kristy and her partner, Elin, will now be taking part in the Ride London event on May 29 to raise awareness of childhood deafness and the importance of sign language.

“To us, Ffion-Haf is the bravest, most courageous and most special little girl in the world,” Kristy, who regularly travels home to Cardigan to visit friends and family, told the Tivy-Side.

“Being a ‘Mami’ to a deaf child, my role as an advocate hit its all-time high over the past six weeks.”

Kristy said Ffion-Haf faced daily struggles in hospital as background noise left her sometimes unable to wear implants that would have allowed her to communicate with staff.

“The background noise was constant - the bleeping of machines, babies crying, food trolleys, radio blaring, toddlers screaming, movies playing, children laughing, beds and chairs moving, nurses and doctors conversing.

“All this just added to the difficulty she had in hearing staff - even when they were standing directly next to her bed.

“Face masks proved to be very problematic and their removal prior to speaking to her was regularly overlooked, making communication impossible.

““It was heart-breaking to watch day in, day out.

“Deaf people lip read - they have to see your mouth.

“Without her implants on, the only way to communicate with Ffion-Haf is through British Sign Language.

“But the lack of sign language added further complexities to the communication barriers faced by a Deaf person.”

Kristy has now been asked to help improve Deaf awareness and to teach some basic sign language to staff at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital.

“It’s a big issue and I will continue to do whatever I can to raise awareness of this invisible disability,” she said.

All funds raised by Kristy and Elin at Ride London will go to the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Donations can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kristy-hopkins79