Sound device: Gift from India gives Pak boy back his hearing

Ryyan contracted meningitis when he was barely two months old. While doctors in his home country,Pakistan,successfully managed to fight the disease,it left Ryyan permanently deaf as it affected his cochlea (auditory portion of the inner ear).

Written by Express News Service | Gurgaon | Published:June 8, 2010 1:29 am

Ryyan contracted meningitis when he was barely two months old. While doctors in his home country,Pakistan,successfully managed to fight the disease,it left Ryyan permanently deaf as it affected his cochlea (auditory portion of the inner ear).

After several unsuccessful attempts by doctors for almost three years Ryyan’s father,Asim Ryaz,an MNC employee,found hope in Gurgaon’s Paras Hospital.

Ryaz contacted the doctors in February this year and came to India his wife,daughter and Ryyan in May.

The rare surgery for cochlear implantation was performed on Ryyan on May 27.

According to Ryyan’s family,sensory neural hearing loss post-meningitis had not only resulted in their son going deaf,but it also left him with no speech.

At the Paras Hospital,the doctors treated the child as a case of congenital deafness.

Senior ENT consultant at Paras Hospital Dr Amitabh Malik said: “The treatment includes three basic steps. First,we implant the cochlear device and when the patient recovers from the surgery,we switch the device on. After this we provide them therapy to convert sign language to real language. The therapy is provided because the patient has never heard any voice before and this would be the first time he would be hearing anything.” The surgery cost the family over Rs 10 lakh.

“It was a challenging surgery and required hi-tech surgical skills,” Dr Malik added.

Doctors believe the age at which Ryyan was operated,three and half years,is the correct age for the surgery. “This is the right age to operate because the brain has a capacity to learn,which is usually saturated by the age of eight in normal humans,” Dr Malik said.

He also listed out post-operation precautions: the external device should not get wet and has to be removed at the time of sleeping.

Talking to the media Asim Ryaz said: “We are very happy to see our child hearing once again with no difficulties. We are really grateful that we came to India where finally this kind of surgery could be performed. We are very happy for our son. Initially,we were very apprehensive of coming to India. But after several unsuccessful attempts and searches on the Internet,we zeroed in on Paras Hospital due to its experienced doctors and widespread recognition. Now,I am taking back a message of friendship and peace for the people of Pakistan.”

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