Actress is hopeful after operation

EastEnders star Rita Simons has had an amazing Christmas present.

The actress’s seven-year-old daughter Maiya, who was born deaf, recently had an operation that could slowly give her the ability to hear.

Maiya’s had a cochlear implant fitted,’ says Rita, 36.

‘It’s still going to be quite a long process for her… and it’s not like she will suddenly be able to hear.

‘She’s got to have a lot of speech and listening therapy and then they gradually turn the implant up.

‘Even when she does hear, it won’t sound normal to her so she has to get her brain to compensate for that.’

But Rita – who also has Maiya’s twin sister Jaimee with husband Theo Silverston – is feeling very positive about Maiya‘s progress.

‘It’s going to be the first Christmas where she’ll be living in a totally different world,’ the mum-of-two tells TV Magazine. ‘It’s going to be a lovely time for us.’

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Anna Francis