Brighter future awaits boy who can hear after cochlear implant
“ADHWA! Adhwa!,” Hassan Zahari calls out to his grandson after Adhwa switched on his cochlear implant device.
The two-and-a-half-year-old quickly turned around, responding to his grandfather’s voice. He can hear for the very first time in his life.
Life is certainly looking brighter for toddler Adhwa Haziq after his successful cochlear implant procedure, thanks to generous Malaysians who helped fund the purchase of cochlear implants through Star Foundation’s Medical Fund programme.
Adhwa, diagnosed with bilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, needed the surgery before turning three this year.
This will allow him a better chance at regaining auditory and speech ability, ultimately enabling him to join mainstream education like other children.
Unable to afford the high cost of the devices, Adhwa’s family had sought help from Star Foundation.
Adhwa’s mother Nurul Atiqah Hassan, 24, was grateful for the help received and the success of the surgery.
“No words can express how happy we are now. Without the support from Star Foundation and the public, we could never have afforded the cost of the implants and Adhwa would not have been able to hear. Thank you once again,” she said.
Following the implant procedure at Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu, Adhwa is required to go for audiology follow-up and speech therapy sessions at the hospital regularly.
Adhwa’s parents will also be diligently helping him adjust to his newfound hearing so that he is able to understand sounds and start communicating with others.
Atiqah said the surgery had been life-changing for the family.
“It is very comforting for us because at least now, he is more receptive to sounds and less reliant on physical touch.
“It makes us smile to see the joy and wonder on our son’s face as he hears clearly for the first time.
“We hope he will now be able to enjoy his childhood and soon go to school like other children.”
Atiqah emphasised the importance of early intervention in addressing hearing impairment, and hoped the funding and surgery would raise awareness about cochlear implants as a possible solution.
“Every time we walk around in Labuan with Adhwa’s implant visible, many curious onlookers will ask us about it. Many are unaware that cochlear implants can help solve hearing impairment.
“Because of that, some children who cannot hear miss out on going to school.
“Hearing impairment is something that can be fixed if there is medical intervention at an early stage. This may require a lot of effort and resources but it is for a better future,” added Atiqah.
Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu audiologist in charge Amira Amir Hamja expressed the team’s confidence in the ongoing improvements in Adhwa’s hearing.
“He has already shown positive response to sounds.
“With further mapping sessions and speech therapy complemented by full support from his parents, he will soon develop his first words and become adept at following instructions,” said Amira.
She said the consequences would have been substantial if Adhwa had not undergone the surgery at this critical stage.
“Without this early intervention, his profound hearing loss in both ears would have prevented him from developing speech and perceiving conversational-level sound.
“He would have had to rely solely on sign language for communication,” she added.
Amira said this case served as a powerful reminder that with the right treatment and support, individuals with hearing loss could overcome significant barriers and achieve remarkable progress in their communication abilities.
She thanked Star Foundation and its donors for making the implantation possible.
“We extend our sincere appreciation to donors for providing this meaningful gift to little Adhwa,” she said.
Established in 2004, Star Foundation is the charitable arm of Star Media Group aimed at delivering meaningful initiatives with lasting outcomes to a diverse group of beneficiaries.
The Medical Fund Programme was initiated in 2015 to sponsor one-off medical treatment and care for underprivileged individuals with chronic illnesses.
For more details, visit starfoundation.com.my