Two-year-old Ayub can recognise a mobile from a TV remote, and pick up the call even if the phone is in vibration mode, say his proud parents. An act that any other child of his age would do. But in Ayub's case it becomes a marvellous feat as his only contact

By Anjana Sankar

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Published: Thu 9 Jun 2005, 2:13 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:20 PM

with the outer world is his right eye. He has been diagnosed to have profound sensorineural hearing loss by birth and has a detached retina in his left eye.

But his parents Hakeem Boosa and Adaviya Binahmend from Sri Lanka are bent on rescuing their only son from the world of silence. They took him for a detailed check up at Apollo Hospital in Sri Lanka as they suspected the child is not responding even to loud noises. “When he was very small, we did not know. It is only afterwards that we noticed that he does not respond and continues to be engrossed in what he is doing even if I call him or make sounds from behind. Our fears were confirmed through a detailed hearing assessment,” Hakeem recollected the ordeal of getting in terms with reality.

And it is only last year, that doctors diagnosed that Ayub is partially blind with a detached retina on his left eye. “But at the moment our priority is to develop his hearing ability. We thank God that he can at least see the world,” he added. “Thanks to advanced medical inventions, we have a feasible option in the form of a Cochlear Implant to develop his hearing ability that will gradually help him speak too. But the first hurdle is to muster the cost involved which will amount to Dh120,000 in addition to surgery, hospitalisation plus post surgery habilitation,” said Hakeem.

“Time is a crucial factor as we have to do the implant at the earliest. We are a middle class average family and by the time we earn that much, it will be too late. That is why we are appealing to social organisations and generous individuals to come forward and give Ayub a life-enhancing gift. Through the Cochlear implant, he would learn to hear for the first time. Then we need to rehabilitate him with the guidance of a speech therapist and audiologist. To see him enrolled in a mainstream school is our dream,” Hakeem's voice choked.

And the preparations have already started for the couple. According to him, he and his wife always wear an hearing aid at home so that Ayub will get used to the idea. “The implant is something that he will have to live with for the rest of his life. And the process needs great involvement and cooperation from parents too. We are not sparing any effort from our side,” vows a determined Hakeem. Currently, Ayub loves to watch children playing football outside his apartment. He insists on watching all football matches on TV. God willing, his parents are hopeful that their only son will grow up to be what he likes best. Ayub's parents can be contacted on 02-6771662.

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