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Last Updated: Friday May 09 2008 15:17 GMT

Fake ears help boy feel better

Josh with and without his new ears

A boy born without ears has had special pretend ears made which help him hear and look like everyone else.

Joshua Bull, from South Yorkshire, has had seven operations to fix his hearing, but wasn't happy because people stared at him.

So doctors made the 12-year-old the artificial ears, that can be put on and off like a pair of glasses.

Joshua told Newsround: "I was completely gobsmacked. I couldn't believe how good they were."

He will get new ears every six months because he is growing and the ears can easily get damaged.

Josh shows Adam his hearing aids
Using a special device Josh can show Adam what he hears
Josh gets the ears free through the National Health Service but each ear costs about 2,000 to make and has gold fittings - so they don't rust!

His mum added: "All the staring has stopped. I could never imagine the ears could be so good."

Josh also has a special device which he can lend to pals to give them an idea of how the world sounds to him by fixing it to their own ears.

Very unusual

He told Adam: "When I first got my new ears all my friends wanted to feel them. They couldn't believe them."

Josh with his amazing ears
Josh is very rare as although about one in 7,000 children are born without one ear, it's rare to be born without both ears.

Josh said his hearing was really good now, but he sometimes pretended he couldn't hear when his mum asked him to tidy up his bedroom!

And he joked: "If I'm sick and tired of a teacher then I can turn my hearing off, but if I'm interested, then I can turn it up!"