Toddler loses hearing after implant is stolen

2017-06-26 09:05
The outer part of little Leah Roodt's cochlear implant has been stolen.

The outer part of little Leah Roodt's cochlear implant has been stolen. (Supplied)

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The R270 000 gift of hearing a little girl recently received, has been ripped away after the outer part of her cochlear implant got lost and presumably taken in a shoe store.

“She keeps on asking for it (the implant) and touching her ears,” Millicent Worship, the grandmother of Leah Roodt (1 year, 11 months) says.

“It’s a huge loss. She can’t hear at all now. It’s such a terrible thing that happened.”

Leah, from Athlone,  received a cochlear implant last year when radio station KFM heard of her story and organised donations of around R270 000.

The tale led many to tears when Worship was heard crying and screaming with joy on air.

Worship says the family was in Bellville for Leah’s session with hearing therapists at the Carel du Toit Centre on Thursday 22 June.

After her appointment the family went shopping at the Jordan Footwear Factory Shop.

When they left the store Leah’s grandfather realised that the outer part of her cochlear implant was missing.

Thinking the device just fell of, they rushed back inside where a fruitless search ensued.

Security footage shows a man with dreadlocks and dark clothes kicking the device where it was hard to see.

He then picks up the device and walks out of the store.

Mariette Nosworthy, an early interventionist at Carel du Toit centre who works with Leah, says people easily mistake the cochlear implants for earphones.

“It is actually of no value to anyone else. It is programmed specifically to her.”

Nosworthy says it’s a tragedy as Leah was able to learn speech because of the implant. She is completely deaf without it.

Anybody who has information about the lost implant is urged to call Worship on 082 390 5762.


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