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Last Updated: Tuesday January 29 2008 11:02 GMT

'Deaf' boy had cotton bud in ear

Jerome with the cotton bud tip

A Welsh schoolboy who's been partially deaf for nine years was suddenly cured when the tip of a cotton bud popped out of his ear.

Jerome's had trouble with his hearing since he was two, but doctors said there was nothing they could do.

So the 11-year-old was stunned when his hearing came back as he played with friends in Pembrokeshire, south Wales.

He said he heard a popping sound before finding the tip of a cotton bud, which was soaked in ear wax, in his ear.

Check out how big the tip is compared to a new cotton bud

No-one knows why the tip popped out when it did, but Jerome's delighted as now he can hear everything loud and clear.

"It was very strange at first to be able to hear everything, but now I'm getting used to it," he said.

"It's great that people don't have to shout to me or that I don't have to turn my head all the time."

Waxy souvenir

Jerome's family think the centimetre-long tip got stuck in his ear as he played with a cotton bud as a toddler, while no-one was looking.

The wax-soaked tip might look pretty grim, but Jerome's decided to keep it as a souvenir of his nine years of silence in his right ear.

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