His parents were told a double or bilateral cochlear transplant offered him the best chance of some form of hearing. In Ireland, funding issues have limited children to a cochlear implant in just a single ear. In countries like the UK, US and Australia implants in both ears are regarded as best practice. The Cork-based family was informed last December that because of funding issues, Liam's second surgery could not go ahead.
Julie, who is also deaf, revealed that the family were astounded when an anonymous donor contacted them to offer to pay for the second implant. But the family was informed on February 27 that Liam's procedure still cannot go ahead. In a letter from Beaumont Hospital the family was told the precedent was unacceptable.