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Watch: The girl with blue eyes has her hearing aid switched on for first time

A little girl with the most piercing blue eyes has started a meaningful conversation; now we get to see the start of her incredible journey!

Pretoria, South Africa – Florence Ziniel and her daughter Chogtaa are from Ghana. Chogtaa was born with a rare genetic disorder called Waardenburg syndrome which means that she has ice blue eyes but is also deaf.

Waardenburg syndrome is a rare genetic disorder most often characterised by varying degrees of deafness, minor defects in structures arising from the neural crest, and pigmentation changes. It was first described in 1951.

Florence worked hard to raise funds, despite all the misinformation and fear-mongering they faced, to get her daughter a cochlear implant, in the hopes that helping her hear, would help get her ahead in life. Florence and Chogtaa were assisted by the Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss in Southern Africa.

The foundation is a non-profit that works to help children in South Africa and internationally. They launched their first project, Eduplex.

After hearing Chogtaa’s story, Eduplex immediately offered her a fully-funded place in their school where she will learn to speak. The first video they shared spoke of Chogtaa and Florence’s journey to South Africa, now they have shared an update showing Chogtaa’s first time hearing.

They joined forces with “The Oakes Collective” to create a video to tell her story, and change the idea behind “the girl with blue eyes”.

Take a look at the life-changing moment below. PS: Grab a few tissues because we cried like babies watching this!

It is now more critical than ever that Chogtaa gets a chance to learn at a school that is catered to her needs.

The school is appealing to anyone for help as now that Chogtaa is ready to start learning, being in a critical stage of her life, they need to get Florence settled into South Africa. She needs help with obtaining the correct visa to live here while Chogtaa gets the much-needed education she deserves.

If you can offer any assistance, you can contact Erika Basson via email or call them on +27 (0) 12 333 3130.


Hearing miracle in Pretoria for girl (2) born with rare syndrome.

The implanted device will be switched on for the first time on 15 March allowing the toddler to hear sound for the first time.

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The cochlear operation on a two-year-old Ghanian girl at the Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital in Muckleneuk was successful.

Chogtaa Dumeh from northern Ghana was born with a rare condition, Waardenburg syndrome type two, which was also the cause of profound hearing loss in both her ears.

Waardenburg syndrome is also characterised by varying degrees of depigmentation of the eyes.

The operation was done in South Africa because it was is not available in her country.

She was due to have her bandages removed on Monday.

The head of the cochlear implant division of the Ear Institute in Pretoria Dr. Catherine van Dijk described the procedure as a success, adding she had received a good reading in theatre.

After the operation Chogtaa’s mother, Florence Ziniel said she was very relieved that the operation was such a huge success.

“I am extremely grateful for all the support we have received so far to have made this miracle operation possible,” she said.

She said she was very positive about a future in South Africa that would provide her little girl with the best opportunities concerning her circumstances.

The implanted device will be switched on for the first time on 15 March allowing the toddler to hear sound for the first time.

An intensive rehabilitation process of a minimum of six to nine months would follow, consisting of speech and language therapy as well as regular programming of the device as her brain adapts to sound.

The operation was made possible by the Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss in SA who raised funds – and received donations from generous individual donors as well as Studex South Africa, community chest of the Western Cape and Isa Gold.

Other sponsors were: Afi Antonio and her foundation in Ghana received donations from donors across Africa; St Raphael Catholic Church Lashibi in Ghana; and Doctors and Hospital Discounts (Zuid Afrikaans Hospital).

Erika Basson manager of the Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss would assist Chogtaa and her mother to get permanent residence in South Africa in order for Chogtaa to receive the best audiological management for a better future with her cochlear implant.

“We are also aiming to start raising funds for Chogtaa’s second implant – the goal is to receive the second implant early in 2020,” she said.

Basson said a bursary placement has been secured for Chogtaa at a mainstream school in Pretoria, the Eduplex, which catered for deaf children with assistive devices.

Chogtaa will receive quality mainstream education including the required speech and language therapy, audiology management, as well as parent guidance for her mother as long as she attended this school.

The Ear Institute in Pretoria promised to assist Chogtaa with future repairs on her cochlear implant device when needed, including the programming of her device on a regular basis.


Cochlear implant at Club Surgical Centre brings hope and hearing to nine-year-old

Cochlear implant at Club Surgical Centre brings hope and hearing to nine-year-old
Mulweli Makhuvha is living in a world of silence. Suffering from cochlear dysfunction, the nine-year-old hears very little, even with his hearing aids – not his mother’s voice, nor the bark of a pet or a single note of music.

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Advanced ear surgery at a day hospital

But all this is about to change. Young Mulweli is due to be the first recipient of a cochlear implant performed in a daycare hospital in Pretoria, courtesy of pioneering ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr. Jannet Izeboud, at Club Surgical Centre in Hazelwood, Pretoria. Says Izeboud, “Medical technology has advanced exponentially since the first cochlear implant was performed. In fact, cochlear implants have become a reasonably straightforward procedure. It is these strides that have enabled us to where we are today: quite literally making history.”

From the word go, says Izeboud, she and her team were confident that they could successfully complete the procedure. “It was our vision to accomplish this life-changing surgery for Mulweli at a substantially reduced fee and with a minimum of trauma for a child of such tender years,” she explains.

Generosity to a tee

Even given this concession, the operation would have amounted to R95 000, as well as a R10 000 hospital co-payment – an amount the Makhuvas could ill afford but for an outstanding charity, an incredible event and a gathering of great givers. Last week, Forever Resorts SA held their annual golf day at Blue Valley Golf and Country Club in Midrand, with the Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss in South Africa as their charity beneficiary for the year. The event entailed, amongst other things, an auction and a variety of sponsorships, all of which yielded sufficient funds to cover three cochlear implants for children, one of which is Mulweli.

Infinite gratitude
Mulweli’s mother was and remains overjoyed at the prospect. “We are so grateful that Mulweli will soon be able to hear my voice, listen to the joyous sounds of our church choir and even such everyday sounds such as hooters,” she says. “This is a miracle for our family and words cannot express how blessed we feel.”

Beacon of hope for the future
“Mulweli may be the first cochlear implant patient in our daycare facilities, but he will most certainly not be our last,” concludes Club Surgical founding member and esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr. Japie de Wet. “It has always been our ethos that Club Surgical would become a beacon of hope and light for the many patients that are yet to enter its doors.”

 


Visions for the New Year 2019

As we approach 2019, we are looking forward to change many more lives with the gift of hearing, to approach and connect with many more angels, to apply for more awards in order to expand and improve our good cause, to increase the awareness about the gift of hearing and to appreciate more and more blessings to make a difference in the lives of those in need.


We look forward to give the gift of hearing to a very special 2-year-old girl from Ghana.  We are busy with countless arrangements to realize the gift of hearing for Rebecca Dumeh for early 2019.

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We look forward to give the gift of hearing to ‘Suné Hope’ early in 2019. A  2-year-old little girl with profound hearing loss, who experienced multiple traumas in her short life. This little girl is now in foster care with a loving family who are determined to give her a second chance in life. Together with the Foundation, this family is currently busy with a very powerful fundraising drive for Suné to receive an implant in both ears by early 2019. We strongly believe with them, that ‘Suné’ will have the total amount of funds in time for her implants.

Please note that personal details have been changed to protect the identity of this child.


In 2019, we plan to support MANY patients and to build strong relationships with ALL our donors!

 


Support and Gratitude, the truer meaning of Christmas

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Studex South Africa have supported 11 patients with the gift of hearing in 2018 – and a 12th patient will benefit from the last 2018 donation in January.  We look forward to continue this amazing partnership with Studex SA (American Piercing Systems) who really made a huge difference in the lives of many Cochlear Implant patients this year.  Thank you Studex South Africa, your continuous support makes it possible for us to provide our patients with the gift of hearing! We urge the public to support the Foundation by also purchasing Studex ear rings available at selected stores. 


What a journey we once again experienced with Isa Gold this year! Isa gold supported us on a monthly basis and we were able to allocate funds to 8 beneficiaries with huge outstanding amounts for the gift of hearing in 2018. We are so excited to continue this journey with Isa Gold in 2019, and we know that we will be able to change many more lives with cochlear implants, supported by this wonderful company, Isa Gold.  Thank you for believing in the gift of hearing and for making it possible for us to continue our work.


Community Chest of the Western Cape and the Nellie Atkinson Trust (Nedgroup Trust) – how can we thank you enough! You have once again made such a huge difference to our organisation’s work. Thank you for supporting 2 patients with the funds they would never have received in time, Busiseka Khanyile and Rebecca Dumeh. We will keep you posted about the switch on moments and the progress of these 2 little brave ones.


Mr Stefan Launer and family. We would like to once again express our sincere gratitude for the donation you have made towards our organisation this year. Your support assisted a very bright young lady, Davida Lotter. We know she will move mountains in the years to come, thank you for making such a big difference in her life.


Thank you Forever Resorts SA for almost R190 000 to help 3 children with their outstanding amounts to receive the gift of hearing!  We cannot wait for the next fundraising opportunity in 2019.  Together we will change more lives.


To the Caring Daisies, the Round Table, each and every individual donor who either contributed once, monthly or annually.  Your exceptional support allowed us to bring joy, independence and a life-changing gift of hearing to those in need.


To all our donors – your support, we believe, is also in keeping with the truer meaning of Christmas.  Click HERE to donate!

 


Community Chest Impumelelo Social Innovations Awards 2018

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It was indeed a full house at the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town – at the Community Chest Impumelelo Social Innovations Awards evening on the 28th of November 2018.

We are extremely humble and proud for the Future Investment Award we received, and would like to sincerely thank Community Chest of the Western Cape for acknowledging the Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss in SA’s hard work and for believing in the GIFT OF HEARING!

Congratulations to all the award winners, keep up the good work to change lives!

YouTube Video: Community Chest Impumelelo Social Innovations Awards 2018

 


The Community Chest Impumelelo Social Innovations Awards is a leading awards programme for innovators who find creative solutions to public problems. The Awards programme celebrates extraordinary individuals who find these creative and innovative ways to solve public problems in South Africa and makes a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

The Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss in Southern Africa was selected and nominated and received an excellence capacity building package, an Investment in the Future Award during the celebrations on 28 November 2018.