Meet Afsheen Fathima, a beautiful little girl from India, who now lives with her mother and father in Henrico, Virginia (USA). Afsheen is now 2.5 years old who was born with Microtia and Atresia of her left ear. She was also born with scoliosis. Afsheen is a sweet little girl who is excited to begin talking now that her vocabulary is coming in, but she is already experiencing delays in her speech according to her father, Salman Farish. In order to help with Afsheen’s speech delays, Salman said that he and his wife are doing everything that has been suggested to them by their pediatrician…they have Afsheen in an “early intervention program and now we have our developmental specialist and speech therapist visiting her every week.” Salman says that “Since this time of age is important for her speech and language development, our audiologist and ENT doctors suggested using a soft band Baha hearing device.” Salman was able to obtain a trial or loaner Baha from their local audiologist for Afsheen to experience hearing better. During this time, Salman says that “we were able to see good improvement in her speech…even Afsheen’s developmental specialist noticed how she was trying to pick up more words.”
Upon returning the loaner Baha to their audiologist, Salman applied for a Baha for Afsheen through their insurance company after seeing how much better she was hearing. Unfortunately, Salman’s insurance provider denied the cost for coverage of a Baha for Afsheen. As Salman is the only source of income for his family, Salman was unable to provide a new hearing device for Afsheen. Especially, when they have most of their expenses going toward savings for Afsheen’s spinal treatment. Fortunately, Salman and his family discovered the Ear Community Organization and applied for a hearing device for Afsheen. On September 30th, 2016, Afsheed was fitted with her new Cochlear Americas Baha 5 bone conduction processor. Since Afsheen has been aided with her new Baha, Salman says that “we could see change in here face reaction as soon as we put her new Baha 5 on her….even though Afsheen is having speech and developmental delay, we are very sure that this will definitely help her from here on out. We have a long way to go when considering reconstructive surgery for her ear, but being able to wear a hearing device is already making a big difference for us with Afsheen.”
Thank you to Dr. Jennifer White (audiologist) at Virginia Commonwealth University for donating her time and services to fit and program Afsheen’s newly donated Baha 5 from Cochlear Americas! Ear Community is a nonprofit organization that helps the Microtia and Atresia community worldwide. Ear Community is so very thankful for the help that it receives and when other organizations come together to help Ear Community with its mission, to help children and adults born with Microtia and Atresia. “Thank you to Cochlear Americas for helping little Afsheen live a better quality of life by donating her new Baha 5 processor so she can hear better,” says Melissa Tumblin.
Ear Community would especially like to thank Stacey Jones and Kara Golmont of Cochlear Americas for donating the Baha 5 to our organization so Ear Community could help Afsheen hear better. “Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. It has a dedicated global team of more than 2,500 people who deliver the gift of sound to those with hearing loss in over 100 countries. Its vision is to connect people, young and old, to a world of sound by offering life enhancing hearing solutions. In 2013, Cochlear celebrates 100,000 Baha System users – all with unique stories of how being able to hear again has impacted their lives. The Cochlear promise of “Hear Now. And Always” embodies the company’s commitment to providing its recipients with the best possible hearing performance today and for the rest of their lives.”
We are so happy that you can hear so much better now Afsheen! Your mom and dad are wonderful advocates for you! Congrats from all of us at the Ear Community Organization.
Founder and Executive Director
Ear Community Organization