Meet little Arkin Silutan Lerio, a 10 month old adorable baby boy from Las Pinas City in the Philippines. Arkin was born with grade III bilateral Microtia and Atresia. When Arkin was two months old, Arkin’s mom, Jhoan Silutan Hernandez,
took him to an ENT specialist so that he could have an ABR hearing test conducted. This is when she learned that Arkin had a severe to profound hearing loss in both of his ears. Jhoan was also informed that Arkin may struggle with speech delays due to his bilateral hearing loss.
At three months of age, Arkin was given the opportunity to try on a bone conduction hearing device for just a few minutes. During this time, Arkin’s mom, Jhoan, quickly realized how this changed his hearing. Jhoan says “We got a positive response!…I saw how Arkin smiled, cried, and opened his eyes wide every time the audiologist would speak to him.” “It was a priceless moment for us and for Arkin!” She knew from that moment that Arkin needed to hear better with the help of hearing devices. However, Arkin’s family does not have medical insurance and their income made it unlikely to be able to pay for a bone conduction hearing device out of pocket. Jhoan struggled with finding answers about Microtia and Atresia. Many of the medical professionals Jhoan took Arkin to did not the answers to her questions and were not familiar with seeing a child with Microtia and Atresia. Jhoan did some research online and thankfully found the Ear Community Organization. After learning more about Microtia and Atresia and discovering how she could help Arkin more with his speech, she discovered that the Ear Community Organization also donates hearing devices and so she applied.
On Monday, August 15th, 2016, Arkin proudly received two newly donated Oticon Medical Ponto Plus hearing devices and steamer from Oticon Medical that were donated through the Ear Community Organization. Many people helped Arkin along the way in order for him to receive his new hearing devices. A special thank you to Izovelle “Icee” Piedad (audiologist with Philiear Inc.) for helping donate her time to fit and program Arkin’s new Ponto Plus hearing devices! Icee waited patiently for Arkin’s hearing devices to make it through customs and was delighted to receive them for Arkin’s appointment a week ago. Thank you also to Gabe Murphy of Idaho (USA), who wanted to give back to the Microtia and Atresia community and help a child hear better. Gabe organized a 5k race fund raiser event in Preston, Idaho for his senior class project. Some of the funds that were raised went toward paying for the shipping of Arkin’s hearing device. Gabe is excited to have helped Arkin because Gabe was also born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia. Thank you for helping Arkin, Gabe….and thank you for your support to the Ear Community Organization!
Jhoan says that Arkin is already hearing better and that he is mimicking sounds. She says that Arkin is already making new sounds and babbling more! Arkin also has a new friend, his monkey that he has decided to call “Otty” that came from Oticon Medical with his gift of hearing. Arkin is very lucky to have such an amazing mommy like Jhoan. Jhoan stayed on top of the tracking for Arkin’s hearing devices updated me (Melissa Tumblin) every step of the way. She even had a beautiful cake made to help celebrate Arkin’s special day with Icee donating her time to help fit Arkin’s hearing devices. Love the cake Jhoan and thank you! What a sweet touch to a sweet day!
A very special thank you to Alan Raffauf, Vice President of Marketing for Oticon Medical US, for choosing to donate two new Oticon Medical Ponto Plus hearing devices w/streamer to Ear Community so that it could be donated to Arkin to help her hear better during the critical years of development. As a tribute to Curt Gorman, Oticon Medical’s past president, who passed away last August, may Arkin thrive in the hearing world with his new hearing devices and never miss a beat as he continues to grow. Curt Gorman had a passion for helping children hear better as he was a pioneer in the hearing device industry, especially for bone anchored hearing devices. Many who loved and knew Curt have made donations to also help children hear better through the Ear Community Organization. Thank you for everyone’s support and for helping Ear Community continue with it’s mission of helping individuals with Microtia and Atresia. 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.”
Arkin, we are all so very proud of you and we hope you thrive everyday and get the most out of life, especially all of the sounds that come with it! We hope you keep us updated as you grow older! Congratulations on hearing your best Arkin. Here are some cute pictures of Arkin on his special day!
We are so proud of you!
Founder of the Ear Community Organization
Ear Community Board members