My name is Shamiela, mother to Qaasim Abdurahman. Qaasim was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss bilaterally on 24 May 2019. He is currently 20 months old and is not saying any words as a result of his hearing loss. Recent radiology results also indicated that Qaasim has a condition called Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome which is most likely the cause of the hearing loss, and his cochleae are slightly mis-shaped.
Due to the severity of Qaasim’s hearing loss, without intervention, he will not be able to access any speech or language and will not be able to talk or communicate. He has recently been fitted with hearing aids. However, as Qaasim’s hearing loss is profound, he may still struggle to acquire speech and language. As a result, the Ear Institute’s audiology team have recommended that Qaasim is implanted with a cochlear implant in both of his ears.
A cochlear implant involves an implant that is surgically placed inside a patient’s ear. About four weeks after the surgery, an outside device, called a processor, is attached to the outside of the head and ear. This processor picks up speech and sound, and transmits it to the inner implant. The implant has an electrode array which is coiled into the damaged cochlea and bypasses the function of the cochlea’s little hair cells that usually conduct the sound to the hearing nerve. This electrode array stimulates the auditory nerve via current and the brain, over time, interprets this as speech and environmental sound.
Although cochlear implants cannot cure hearing loss, implanting Qaasim will give him access to sound which will provide him with the only chance of age-appropriate speech and language development. This will help him to perform better at school and provide him the opportunity to a better education resulting in independent employment as an adult in the future. If not implanted, it may lead to permanent changes in the auditory cortex in the brain which may make it impossible to benefit from a cochlear implant or any form of hearing restoration surgery in future.
Cochlear implantation is a highly specialised procedure and as a result, is expensive. The following costs need to be considered:
- Advanced Bionics Processor and Implant: R265 000.00 (one unit)
- As a result of these tremendous costs, we the Abdurahman family is looking for as much financial assistance as possible to turn this possible life-changing procedure
for Qaasim from a dream into reality. Thank you so much in advance for all your generosity and kindness
– it is much appreciated all round! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.