By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 31 Jul: Ayush Gupta and Vishakha (name changed) are a working couple with a happy and normal life. After the delivery of their first child Vivaan, they were happy as any new parents would be. But soon their world was devastated when they realised that their baby was unable to hear, being deaf. Doctors declared the baby as being profoundly deaf. They were unhappy that their child would not be able to interact with the world in the manner a normal child would. The child also had a tongue tie which made it difficult for him to suck or breastfeed.
“We consulted various hospitals and were told of cochlear implants being the option. I did a lot of research including meeting with the families of other recipients and this helped us make the decision to proceed. Being from Dehradun, I wanted this to happen here,” said Vishaka.
“During our internet research, we got in touch with Dr Iram Khan, who is a specialist in Cochlear Implant. With the cost of the implant being the same at all places, better care, hygiene and safe environment were our major criteria. We met Dr Iram and shared our concerns about the success and the costs involved. She resolved all our queries and gave us the confidence to get it done at Max Dehradun.”
“Vivaan was a healthy looking cheerful male child who was highly social but because of lack of hearing, he was unable to speak. He was a perfect candidate for cochlear implant. The case was discussed with Dr A K Lahiri and provided support,” Dr Iram said.
“The surgery was conducted on 26 May. Vivaan was in the hospital for another 2 days and was discharged on the 3rd day. The cochlear implant needs to be activated on the 10th day.”
The family reached the hospital on 6 June and at 3:02 p.m. the sound signal was sent to the right electrode and Vivaan was perplexed to hear something new and responded by indicating to the right of the head. This was an exceptionally emotional moment for the family. All their trials, moments of despair, uncertainties were to end with this beginning. The cochlear implant was successful.
A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of damaged inner ears. It bypasses the damaged cells and allows the brain to perceive sound.
According to Dr Iram Khan, ENT Specialist, “Cochlear implant is a life changing decision for a family and transforms the world for a deaf child. After implantation, what follows is a period of extensive support from the family. The child still needs to learn to utilise the sound, both for comprehension and to develop speech abilities. Specialised therapists are required to develop the sound using abilities in the child who is hearing for the first time.”
Dr Sandeep Singh Tanwar, Vice President- Operations- Max Hospital, Dehradun, says “Cochlear Implant is a life changing opportunity for a child and can only be granted by the active involvement of both the parents and the Consultant Specialist. With our first successful Bilateral Cochlear implant in Uttarakhand, I am sure that more parents are encouraged to get it done in Dehradun, itself.”