Faizah was diagnosed of Neonatal hepatitis with evidence of high bilirubin level and jaundice at 3 days of life. After several examinations to reconfirm her medical diagnosis,she was treated of the ailment at about 6 to 8 weeks old. She was also re-examined at 6 months old and the doctor confirmed she has overcomed the hepatitis.
To our utmost surprise, at 18 months old, we noticed Faizah doesn't respond to the call of her name, any sounds nor make any speech, although she always exhibit a lively and fun-filled attitude all time. At first we thought she was having speech delay due to the medical issue she had at birth but at the second thought we decided to take her for hearing/speech assessments. Hearing assessments were conducted in several audiological centers. At a centre, she was at 1st diagnosed of a moderate hearing loss and was fitted with a hearing aid at age 2 years. After 4 months of using the hearing aids with no sign of her benefiting from them, we decided to take her for a re-assessment. This time the center pleaded that she was under-diagnosed at the initial assessment and that she actually has a profound hearing loss! This news was shocking and the worst we have heard as parents. We were really devastated and scared of what the next step would be . At this point we decided to go out of our country to seek for second opinion, and if possible a quick treatment for our darling daughter's hearing issue.
Before embarking on the trip, we had researched on internet and read about hearing loss and its treatment options. We realized that quick intervention is required to get the best results, so we planned to do all we could quickly to intervene in this medical challenge.
An appointment with a hospital in Dubai was scheduled where she was assessed and reconfirmed of her severe to profound hearing loss. We were advised that a Cochlear implant is the best option for her which was any way in line with our research. Although we felt more devastated at the confirmation of the level of our little one's hearing loss but we remained strong and kept faith that she will get the treatment as soon as possible with the best outcome. But then, we decided to read more on CI and research on other hospitals that do CI surgeries in Dubai - UAE. Out of the hospitals and clinics we searched, we then decided to make a phone call to HEARLIFE Clinic - Dubai, and that was it!.
Right from the moment the call was placed to book an appointment- (received by amiable Ms. Yasmina - the receptionist) to the appointment day (where we met the office manager- our wonderful Ms. Merab(always exhibiting a professional, kind and understanding attitude) through out the assessments period- ( assessed by the ENT Doctor - Dr. Bassel, Audiologists (Ms. Sneha and Ms. Bushra) and Speech therapist(Ms. Dua’a), to the surgery day , post surgery appointments, activation day to rehabilitation process, Hearlife has been wonderful. Always with listening ears, comforting and soothing words. Infact from the day we stepped into Hearlife, I had the belief that we were in the right place and had made the best choice for our daughter.
A month after the assessments with Hearlife Clinic, precisely March 2016, Faizah had her Cochlear Implant Surgery which was done by the renowned ENT surgeon, Prof Georg Sprinzl alongside Dr. Bassel(such a wonderful doctor he is). She was then activated 4 weeks post surgery by the audiologists, Ms. Sneha and Ms. Bushra (best audiologists I have met in the journey of my adorable daughter’s hearing loss). Right from the assessment of my daughter to her device activation (a heartwarming moment to see our daughter being able to respond to sounds, even at low decibel levels- a moment that my husband and I will always cherish for the rest of our lives). These audiologists exhibited the best professional character , motherly, and always patient even when Faizah exhibits her childish attitude. They gave her the time and care needed. I can’t but say they are simply the best......A day after her activation, she started her (re)habiliation with the Speech therapist, Ms. Dua’a (Faizah's best pal) who has been doing all required (AVT, speech therapy) to ensure Faizah gets the best out of the treatment. She won’t stop giving us assuring words that keep our hopes alive that someday Faizah will completely do well in her listening, language acquisition and speech development.
Since commencement of Faizah's rehabilitation with the audiology team for device mappings and Ms. Dua’a for AVT and speech therapy, she has acquired words to help her on her road to speech language acquisition that will pave the way for a brighter future.
A common thought in the minds of parents of a hearing loss child is that the hearing impaired child will speak immediately after device activation and that was the same hope we anticipated. This dream came true weeks later only and ignited a feeling of pure joy when I lifted Faizah one day barely 3 weeks after activation and she lifted her brightened face to exclaim” Mama”. It was music to my ears and a definite confirmation that my adorable is in the hands of the best interventionists, audiologists and speech specialist - the Hearlife Clinics Dubai team.
Our adorable is now 3 years and we see progress every single day. Ever since Faizah has had the Cochlear Implant she is able to communicate with us and anyone around her. Her quality of life is so much better now. She can hear us and we can hear her trying with her speech development- it’s still a long journey though. Her language ability is now 5months, but we are convinced that she will catch up pretty soon! We see progress daily! .