Watch: Hearing-impaired baby Ibrahim hears his first sound in Dubai

Watch: Hearing-impaired baby Ibrahim hears his first sound in Dubai
Two-year-old Ibrahim with his parents Rashid Ali and Uzma Rashid reacts to sound as a hearing device was activated for him at the hearLife Clinic in Dubai on Tuesday, November 22, 2016. Photo by Dhes Handumon

Dubai - The cochlear implant device that was fit in Ibrahim's ear three weeks ago was activated for the first time at hearLIFE Clinic at Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC).



by

Asma Ali Zain

Published: Wed 23 Nov 2016, 4:41 PM

Last updated: Thu 24 Nov 2016, 1:04 AM

A sudden darting of his eyes around the room and the movement of his hand towards his right ear was the only give away sign from Ibrahim that he had heard sound for the first time in his two years of life.
And this exactly was the priceless reaction that his parents and audiologist had patiently been waiting for a long time. 
On Tuesday, the cochlear implant device that was fit in Ibrahim's ear three weeks ago was activated for the first time at hearLIFE Clinic at Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC). 
The sights and sounds of this precious moment were witnessed and captured by Khaleej Times. 

(Video by Sunita Menon)
The room was tense with anticipation of Ibrahim's first reaction to sound - which came after a patient wait of an hour and half - since Ibrahim seemed uncomfortable whenever the ear device was attached. 
"We need to let him calm down so that we can see his reaction," Dr Bushra Kassouma, audiologist at the clinic said. Another audiologist tried to divert Ibrahim's attention by presenting him with different toys and making him sit still for the testing procedure. 
The sound of a drum beating and claps made him look up, give a strange and confused reaction, cry and then go back to building blocks. 
Each time Ibrahim blinked his eyes to different range of sounds, there were shouts of joy around the room. However, he did not react to his name being called out. This is because he doesn't know what his name sounds like, said his doctor. 
Rashid Ali Khan KaimKhani, Ibrahim's father, a Pakistani national, was speechless throughout the session while his son sat in his lap, oblivious to his father's emotions. 
"We got to know that Ibrahim was profoundly hard of hearing when he was nearly a year old," he told Khaleej Times. 
"It was a shock to me because I couldn't bear having another child who could not hear." 
"My wife is the strongest one in our family and it is because of her that we have come a long way and are seeking treatment for our children." 
Dr Bushra said that each child reacts differently when they hear sound for the first time since it is a strange stimuli. "Sometimes children cry, some laugh and others just smile." 
"We have had a real positive reaction from Ibrahim today and with follow ups and further therapy, we will see gradual improvement in his listening and speech as well," she said. 
"Today is the real beginning of his journey." 
asmaalizain@khaleejtimes.com
 
 Father calls for compulsory hearing test 
No parent can bear hearing impairments of their tiny-tots. And what if two children were born with same problem? Is there any solution? 
Rashid Ali Khan KaimKhani, father of two-year-old Ibrahim, has something to suggest. 
Rashid's elder daughter, 14, too was born with hearing issues but has been using a hearing aid. 
She also has been implanted with a cochlear device recently. 
According to Rashid Ali Khan, if there is a hearing test compulsory for newborns, treatment can be started earlier. 
He urged the health authorities in the UAE to consider compulsory hearing test for newborns.


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