Time is running out for deaf child (2)

2010-03-23 00:00

THIYASHA Maharaj, like most two-year-olds, loves cuddling her teddy bear and playing with her cousin, but unlike other toddlers, she is deaf and needs cochlear implants in both ears.

Her parents, Dion and Raksha Maharaj, realised early on their daughter is unlike other children. “When we spoke to her, she never reacted,” said mother Raksha.

“We took her to the doctor who told us she was completely deaf in one ear and 95% deaf in the other.”

The operations, therapy and rehabilitation necessary for the little girl to hear will cost about R750 000 — money the Maharaj family does not have.

A trust fund has been set up to collect donations and Ernst and Young will manage the account free of charge.

Three independent trustees will oversee the donation process.

According to clinical audiologist Kara Hoffman, Thiyasha’s operations cannot be put on hold indefinitely.

“The shorter the duration of the deafness, the greater the likely benefit from the cochlear implant,” she said.

Raksha explained that Thiyasha is at a crucial phase of her speech and language development, and waiting even three months for the implants is a long time.

“Three months is like a lifetime for her. Right now she is communicating at a level between a newborn and a three- month-old, and that is not fair on her …” she said.

To donate towards Thiyasha’s implants, contact trustees Andrew Ragavaloo at 0824938698, Ismail Moosa at 0332122786 or Manoj Seonath at 0825649846.

box: To donate towards Thiyasha’s implants contact trustees: Andrew Ragavaloo 0824938698, Ismail Moosa 0332122786 or Manoj Seonath 0825649846.

THE TIYASHA MAHARAJ TRUST FUND

Bank : FNB

Branch : Richmond – 221826

Account No : 62252815900

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