Lake Cathie's Willow Powick has heard the sound of the ocean for the first time after undergoing her first successful surgery in a bid to hear.
The five-year-old recently returned home from America with her mum and sister, after undergoing the first of two life-changing surgeries on her ears.
Willow has a rare hearing condition called Atresia, meaning she was born with no ear canals in both ears.
Willow's mum Skye said she was thrilled when her daughter ran away after hearing a wave break on the shore behind her.
"Usually I'm yelling and waving my arms to get her to look out," she said.
"Today Willow heard the sound of the ocean for the first time."
Willow is wearing her power hearing aid, as her second ear still requires the reconstructive surgery.
Skye said Willow's hearing after the right ear canal operation is very sharp.
"We can only imagine the improvement after her second ear is also operated on," she said.
Willow's next surgery in America is scheduled to take place on October 1.
The first operation in April was $55,000. The community helped to raise close to $30,000 for the surgery through fundraising events and donations.
Willow's second surgery in October will also cost $55,000.
Members of the community are invited to attend a number of upcoming fundraisers to help raise money for Willow's medical expenses and accommodation costs.
There is a Adventure for Willow (car rally/scavenger hunt) on August 3, a Paint for Willow (painting event) on August 18 and a Cruise for Willow (sunset cruise) in September.
For more information about the upcoming fundraisers or to follow Willow's journey please visit the Wish for Willow Facebook page.
Want to donate?:
Bendigo Bank: Wish for Willow; BSB: 633 000; Account: 163 822 646
Rotary Club of Laurieton-Rotary Club of Laurieton