Funds from hearing health run help these kids hear better.
Children from as young as one were smiling from ear to ear yesterday, both of which were sporting hearing aids.
At a mini gathering at a leading hotel hosted by the Association of Wives and Women Staff of Petronas (Petronita), attendees included recipients of hearing aids and cochlear implants, family member, and care providers from the Pediatric & Congenital Heart Center of the National Heart Institute, and the Hearing and Speech Institute.
Petronita president Datin Dr Azura Ahmad Tajuddin said: “We are grateful the funds raised from the Orchid Run & Ride were able to help improve the well being of the recipients.
“No words can describe how happy we are to have them with us today, to see firsthand how our contributions have made a difference in their lives.”
Among those who have had their lives impacted by Petronita’s initiatives are Luke Yi Ho, Three, and Iman Aisya Shaharom, 12.
Luke’s father, Apollo Ho Siew Sun, 47, said he had applied for financial aid from Yayasan Sin Chew previously, and had received enough to fund the cochlear implant for his son’s right ear, which totalled RM85,000.
“We first realised he had hearing problems when he was two years and eight months old. I was coming home from work on my motorbike and Luke was in front of the house but he did not turn to see me when I rode in,” he said.
“That was our first sign. I tried sounding the bike horn a few times but there was no reaction.”
He went in and called his son’s name, and asked his wife to call him from the other side.
“I started to feel uncomfortable when he did not respond. Then I panicked because we never had this problem with our two older children,” he said.
His wife talked about their first visit to the ENT doctor, who referred them to Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
After a screening, there they were told their son’s right ear was completely non-functional and the left ear was minimally functioning.
Now with the help they are receiving from Petronita, it will only be a matter of time before Luke takes in every single sound around him.
Another recipient from Subang Jaya, Iman, was delighted to be a special guest at the event.
Her mother, Suzanna Zaily Zin, 43, is thankful for all they have gone through, saying her daughter’s condition “couldn’t be better” today.
Iman was only a year-and-a half when she was first diagnosed with profound loss of hearing – the second level on the scale of deafness. At first, Suzanna did not suspect anything as she communicated with her elder brother normally, or so it seemed.
“At that age, I realised that whenever I called her from behind, she wouldn’t respond. She also used to get fits fairly often. Maybe my husband and I didn’t figure it out at that time if that may have impacted her nerves,” said Suzanna.
Iman got her cochlear implant for her right ear a year later when she was three. Due to its high cost, she only managed to get her second implant on her other ear seven years later.
“It wasn’t easy for her, because as soon as she received the implant, she had to go through a few months of speech therapy,” she said.
Suzanna confessed that she was not able to cope at first upon finding out that her daughter was deaf.
“It was a difficult journey, but we worked on it together, going through speech therapy and learning to communicate with sign language,” she said, thankful that Iman is able to lead a better life.
The upcoming Orchid Run & Ride event will be held on Sept 24 at Persiaran KLCC.
It is expected to attract 7,000 runners and cyclists, and Azura targets to raise about RM250,000.
Source: MalayMail On Line
Image credit: Apollo, Ho and Luke Sun
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