Doctors give an earful

2017-05-16 06:00
After a successful cochlear implant, Aloshay Arendse (8) is getting a second chance at childhood. With her from left are anaesthetist Nick Meyersfeld, her grandmother Spasina Isaacs, mother Candice Isaacs, father Ashley Arendse and Dr Gary Kroukamp, one of her surgeons, at Life Kingsbury Hospital.

After a successful cochlear implant, Aloshay Arendse (8) is getting a second chance at childhood. With her from left are anaesthetist Nick Meyersfeld, her grandmother Spasina Isaacs, mother Candice Isaacs, father Ashley Arendse and Dr Gary Kroukamp, one of her surgeons, at Life Kingsbury Hospital.

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Claremont doctors have given an eight-year-old a second chance to enjoy her childhood by restoring her lost hearing.

Two doctors performed a two-hour cochlear implant surgery on Aloshay Arendse at Life Kingsbury Hospital on Tuesday.

Aloshay was diagnosed with steeply sloping hearing loss and received hearing aids for both ears at the age of six.

This came after a liver transplant at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital when she was one year old, which was followed by bone marrow cancer and heavy doses of medication, resulting in hospitalisation for 11 months while she received 28 weeks of chemotherapy.

Gary Kroukamp, one of the doctors, says they are satisfied with the surgery and how she has responded to it. “We were quite happy to do it as it allowed us to use our skills to advance the life of this little girl and this is what we would like to do for our patients whenever we can. The primary benefits of performing this life-changing surgery are spoken language acquisition, improved speech intelligibility, reading comprehension and high frequency hearing which is missed with hearing aids.”

Her mother, Candice Isaacs, says it has been tough to see their daughter going through many changes due to medical conditions. Though it was not an easy decision for them to make, they had to welcome the opportunity to give her another chance to hear.

“It was a tough time for all of us, especially having to watch her transition her way from one challenge to the next, but we had to make difficult decisions in order to save her life. Aloshay was born with normal hearing, but lost it due to the medical and surgical interventions.”

The implant is described as a very soft and flexible electrode designed to protect and preserve the structures of the cochlea. The implant will be switched on in three weeks once the swelling has gone down and Aloshay has fully recovered from the ­surgery.

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