Meet Hazeeq. Hazeeq is two years old and lives in Malaysia. Hazeeq was born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia (born missing both ears and has no ear canals resulting in hearing loss). Hazeeq doesn’t let his Microtia and Atresia bring him down though. He loves playing with his two brothers and carries on just like any happy and healthy boy his age would. In fact, Hazeeq sings and dances every chance he gets along with a little yelling back at his brothers when they play. However, Hazeeq is currently delayed in his speech due to having hearing loss in both of his ears.
Hazeeq’s mom, Nurzaihana (Hana for short), worries about his academic and social development because of his hearing loss and speech delay. When Hana found out about a hearing device that could help her son hear better she was relieved, but in Malaysia, there is no insurance coverage for hearing devices and hearing devices can be expensive depending on a families income. Hana and her husband, Helmy Norman, did their research though and found the Microtia and Atresia Support Group (Founded by Melissa Tumblin) 2 years ago and began learning about hearing loss, potential speech delays, and how a bone conduction hearing device could help Hazeeq hear better. Since Hana and Helmy were already members of the Microtia and Atresia Support Group, they knew that this support group was part of a nonprofit charity organization, called Ear Community, that was also founded by Melissa Tumblin, a mother of a child born with Microtia and Atresia. When Hana and Helmy discovered that Ear Community may be able to help them obtain a hearing device for Hazeeq, they applied with hope and prayer.
On Tuesday, March 19, 2013, Hana took Hazeeq to his audiologist where he was fitted with two brand new Oticon Ponto Pro sound processors complete with a soft band head band. During Hazeeq’s fitting, his eyes lit up as he was switched on and Hana was filled with tears of joy. Hana says “these pontos blend perfectly with Hazeeq’s hair colour, …I just love the colour of both band and processors!” So far, Hazeeq is enjoying hearing the sounds of life and Hana says “after one week of wearing his new Pontos, he keeps asking ‘apa ni?’ (what’s this?) of everything he sees!”
While the Ear Community organization is proud to have donated Hazeeq’s new Oticon Medical Ponto Pro sound processors and soft band head band, none of this would
have been possible without Oticon Medical donating these amazing hearing devices to Ear Community to begin with. Oticon Medical believes in helping individuals with hearing loss so that they can live a better quality of life. Oticon Medical is a well respected international hearing device manufacturer that is a part of the “William Demant Group [which has] 100-plus years of experience in audiology and sound processing and established manufacturing and logistics infrastructure.”
Ear Community wishes to say a very special thank you to the hearing device professionals who were involved with helping Hazeeq hear better. Thank you to Hazeeq’s audiologist for donating her time to help Hazeeq with his fitting and thank you for listening to Hana when she was concerned about his hearing and speech delay. Thank you to Patrick Tan who helped receive and program Hazeeq’s new Ponto Pros. While Patrick is an employee of Oticon in Malaysia, he is not an employee of Oticon Medical (the division for BAHA products) as Oticon Medical products are not yet marketed in Malaysia. Still, Patrick’s passion for wanting to help a little boy hear better led him to voluntarily working closely with Oticon’s sister company, Oticon Medical, to make this donation and fitting possible. Thank you to Alan Raffauf, Oticon Medical’s Vice President of Marketing, for donating these new sound processors and for wanting to give back to the Microtia and Atresia community through the Ear Community organization. Alan made sure Hazeeq’s processors were shipped from the United States and helped offer assistance to Patrick through Oticon Medical’s customer support center for the programming. Ear Community applauds the passion and effort that was involved with these individuals in bringing two countries together in order to help change one little boy’s life forever, so he can hear again the way life was intended.
Ear Community is a 501(c)(3) global nonprofit charitable organization that helps the Microtia and Atresia community and was started by a mother of a child who was born with Microtia and Atresia.
Thank you from Ear Community and its Board of Directors!
Founder and the Executive Director of Ear Community
Founder of the Microtia and Atresia Support Group