Two-year-old Imbo received a cochlear implant, a first for the Frere Hospital. They captured the moment he hears for the first time and it so heartwarming.
Sweet little Imbo Fufu was diagnosed with hearing problems when he was just 9 months. He was diagnosed with a hearing impairment in both ears.
The hospital closest to his family home is the Frere Hospital and usually, they send their patients to the Western Cape to receive cochlear implants. Thankfully a private practitioner consented to do the first ever cochlear implant surgery at the Frere Hospital.
A cochlear implant is an electronic device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids‚ which make sounds louder‚ cochlear implants do the work of damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain. Part of the device sits on the outside of the ear.
The operation was done on Imbo and has given him the opportunity to hear for the first time in his life. At two years old Imbo has had to rely on his mother to help him as he has been unable to learn how to speak. His operation was performed in September and after recovery Imbo returned to have his implants switched on.
The staff at Frere Hospital filmed the moment his implants were switched on and his reaction is priceless. He reacts with such joy and his entire face lights up. Imbo cracks a smile that will melt any heart and made our eyes well up a little.
Imbo can finally hear what is happening in the world around him. He will now be able to learn how to talk.