Cochlear implant at Club
Surgical Centre brings hope and hearing to nine-year-old
Mulweli Makhuvha is living in a world of silence. Suffering from cochlear dysfunction, the nine-year-old hears very little, even with his hearing aids - not his mother's voice, nor the bark of a pet or a single note of music.
Advanced ear surgery at a day hospital
But all this is about to change. Young Mulweli is due to be the first recipient of a cochlear implant performed in a day care hospital in Pretoria, courtesy of pioneering ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr Jannet Izeboud, at Club Surgical Centre in Hazelwood, Pretoria. Says Izeboud, "Medical technology has advanced exponentially since the first cochlear implant was performed. In fact, cochlear implants have become a reasonably straightforward procedure. It is these strides that have enabled us to where we are today: quite literally making history."
From the word go, says Izeboud, she and her team were confident that they could successfully complete the procedure. "It was our vision to accomplish this life-changing surgery for Mulweli at a substantially reduced fee and with a minimum of trauma for a child of such tender years," she explains.
Generosity to a tee
Even given this concession, the operation would have amounted to R95 000, as well as a R10 000 hospital co-payment - an amount the Makhuvas could ill afford but for an outstanding charity, an incredible event and a gathering of great givers. Last week, Forever Resorts SA held their annual golf day at Blue Valley Golf and Country Club in Midrand, with the Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss in South Africa as their charity beneficiary for the year. The event entailed, amongst other things, an auction and a variety of sponshorships, all of which yielded sufficient funds to cover three cochlear implants for children, one of which is Mulweli.
Mulweli's mother was and remains overjoyed at the prospect. "We are so grateful that Mulweli will soon be able to hear my voice, listen to the joyous sounds of our church choir and even such everyday sounds such as hooters," she says. "This is a miracle for our family and words cannot express how blessed we feel."
Beacon of hope for the
"Mulweli may be the first cochlear implant patient in our day care facilities, but he will most certainly not be our last," concludes Club Surgical founding member and esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Japie de Wet. "It has always been our ethos that Club Surgical would become a beacon of hope and light for the many patients that are yet to enter its doors."
BENEFITS OF CLUB SURGICAL CENTRE DAY HOSPITALS:
* The atmosphere is more welcoming than that of an acute hospital.
* Smaller staff teams mean patients are more likely to be attended to by the same personnel for the duration of their stay.
* Due to the short stay, the cost of a specific procedure is lower than its equivalent at an acute hospital.
* For the same reason, the risk of infection - the so-called "hospital bugs" - is greatly lowered.
* The procedure from admission to discharge is much more streamlined, resulting in great time savings, and notably lower frustration levels.