Sound restored for young boy suffering gradual and permanent hearing loss
Nasha able to hear family, friends and teachers once more
The life of a young Western Cape boy who developed disabling hearing loss at just nine years of age has been transformed following a specialised procedure and the use of a small technological device – a cochlear implant.
Born with normal hearing, Nasha Bosman had experienced a regular childhood, playing with friends in his neighbourhood, going to the local school and participating in sports. However, when his hearing became progressively impaired this bright and engaging boy began to struggle, having to rely on lipreading to understand his family, friends and teachers.
|Pic: The life of 12 year old Nasha Bosman (left), pictured here with his mother Angeline Bosman (right), has been transformed following cochlear implantation that has restored his ability to hear.
His mother, Angeline Bosman, says that daily life gradually became more and more difficult for Nasha and although specialists have been unable to ascertain the precise cause, at 12 years old he was diagnosed with a progressive sensorineural hearing loss – a permanent condition which occurs when parts of the inner ear or auditory nerve are damaged. He was fitted with a hearing aid at Tygerberg Hospital and although this amplified sound, it did not help to make speech any clearer for him. It was then recommended that he have a cochlear implant.
Sharlene Swart, Netcare’s corporate social investment projects and funding manager notes that cochlear implant technology is costly and often not affordable to those who need it.
“Cochlear implantation involves surgically implanting an electronic medical device that bypasses the damaged part of the inner ear, thereby enabling sound signals to get through to the brain. Many individuals who are ideal candidates for this cannot afford it, and it is particularly sad when a young child who can benefit hugely from such a procedure, is unable to have it,” she says.
Just a few months after being identified as a good candidate for the procedure, through a partnership between the Netcare Foundation and HearUs, a non-profit organisation that provides support to those in need of cochlear implants, Nasha’s cochlear implantation was performed at Netcare N1 City Hospital by Professor James Loock, an ENT surgeon of the Tygerberg Hospital / University of Stellenbosch Cochlear Implant Unit.
“Since his cochlear implant was switched on, Nasha’s hearing is improving every day,” says Mrs Bosman. “He can now focus properly on his school work instead of trying to lip read what the teachers are saying and he is really enjoying life again. It is an amazing change and it’s thanks to all the caring people who came together to make this possible,” she says.
Sharlene Swart noted that the Netcare Foundation has a long-standing relationship with Professor Loock, who regularly assists with performing cochlear implants for those in need in the Western Cape.
“Cochlear implantation is not appropriate for all individuals with hearing loss but for those who are and who require financial support, we appreciate the opportunity to make a difference in their lives, together with specialists and other role players. It always gives us a sense of hope to see young patients like Nasha having their hearing restored,” she concludes.
Notes to editor
Looking for a medical appointment? Netcare appointmed™ will make appointments for YOU with specialists practising at Netcare hospitals, GPs and dentists at Medicross medical and dental centres, and specialists at Akeso mental health facilities. Simply request an appointment online at www.netcare.co.za/Request-a-medical-appointment or phone Netcare appointmed™ on 0860 555 565, Mondays to Fridays between 08:00 and 17:00.
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