Our daughter, Rhyka B. Tiangco, was born on May 5, 2013 via emergency cesarean due to oligohydramnios and nuchal cord. She weighed 1.6 kilos (3.5 pounds) and was admitted to the NICU for 10 days. She had premature apnea and cyanosis during her first two weeks of life. After several months of steady growth and development, my wife and I noticed that our daughter was not responsive to sound. However, she passed the Newborn OAE Test so we did not suspect anything until she was 12 months old and unable to speak a single word.
On her 15th month, we were able to confirm our fears through an ABR exam that showed profound sensorineural hearing loss in both of Rhyka’s ears. We were able to buy hearing aids for her on September 2014, but after several tests, her results showed that her hearing has only slightly improved and she can only hear the loudest sounds in her surroundings. In this case, she would not be able to talk or hear other people talking. Her audiologist and otologist recommended that we get a cochlear implant for her profound deafness.
A cochlear implant is a device that transmits electronic signals directly to the cochlea and the brain, bypassing the outer and middle ear. It is surgically implanted into the skull while an external apparatus serves as the receiver that sends the signals from outside into the implant. The device itself is already worth more than my wife’s and my annual salary combined. Apart from that, our daughter also has other medical issues. She has cerebral palsy and is still unable to walk at 23 months of age. She is also small for her age and may possibly be suffering from failure to thrive (FTT). We have not yet explored into these medical issues because we have been focusing on her hearing loss and the preparation for her implantation. However, after implantation, we are planning to go through the exams that will provide a clear diagnosis of her medical condition.
This is why we are seeking for your kind assistance regarding our daughter’s implantation. We are unable to pay for the entire cost of the procedure and there are also other tests that need to be done with regards to her medical condition. We have already applied for financial assistance from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) but they only grant a fixed amount of Php250,000 (appx. $5,800) for cochlear implantation, regardless of the patient’s financial status.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter and we appreciate any form of help that you can give us.