Sunday, 14 October 2012

This Lady Needs N5.38m for hearing aids, ear surgery’

At the first encounter with her, this fair-complexioned lady exhibits no physical disability. Rather, she presents all the physical features of a young, healthy lady who possesses all it takes to win a beauty pageant.

But call to her from behind or while she’s not looking in your direction, beautiful 27-year-old Miss Folashade Oluwaseun Kokumo will not in the least respond to you. This is not deliberate. She has hearing impairment which she has been grappling with since the age of two! She goes about oblivious of the happenings around her.
Her case is compounded by the fact that she’s an orphan: she lost both parents as a child. So severe is her hearing challenge that she finds it very difficult to compose a complete sentence. Doctors say her ears could not send the signals required for her to compose speech. Her only option when she wants to communicate with people is by writing whatever she wants to say on paper.
In spite of this hearing challenge, the brilliant young lady has been able to weather the storm of life, especially in academics. Kokumo, who is an indigene of Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State, has been able to complete her Ordinary National Diploma programme and is currently a Higher National Diploma 1 student in the Department of Business Administration at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta. She attained this feat because of the scholarship offered her by the authorities of the MAPOLY for two academic sessions.
She said, “My predicament began at the age of two after an illness. My parents suddenly realised that I could no longer hear. Later, a speech impediment was also discovered. My parents made valiant efforts to take me to various hospitals for treatment and when it was finally ascertained that the only possible cure for my hearing impairment was N3.6m cochlear implant that would take place in India, they lost all hope because they couldn’t afford it.
“Subsequently, I have struggled from primary school to the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic where I am currently a Higher National Diploma 1 student of Business Administration. To say the journey so far has not been easy would be an understatement. The successful completion of my National Diploma was solely with the help of a hearing aid I purchased five years ago with the assistance of well wishers who perceived my doggedness and zeal for success in life. However, at the twilight of my ND programme, the hearing aid was damaged and it had an adverse effect on my academic performance.”
The crux of the matter now is that she needs about N5.38m to correct this hearing challenge —N380,000 to purchase a new set of hearing aids and N5m to undergo ear surgery in an Indian hospital. The hearing aids would give her temporary relief from the excruciating pain she suffers currently and also assist her in attending lectures and listening to what the lecturers are saying to the entire class.
Confirming Kokumo’s urgent need for hearing aids and surgery in India, the Director of the Nigerian Army Audiological Centre, Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Dr. Irene Okeke-Igbokwe, in a cover note attached to the receipt issued the patient in August, said the N380,000 was required for the purchase of the pairs of the Siemens behind-the-ear hearing aid and batteries, while a cochlear implant in India would gulp about N5m.
Okeke-Igbokwe’s cover letter reads in part: “Physical examination revealed a healthy looking young lady without any physical defects. Otoscopic examination revealed clear canal and both tympanic membrane intact. Audiological investigation on Pure Tone Audiometry revealed bilateral severe to profound sensoneural hearing loss.
“A physician recommended cochlear implant in India, which is expected to cost N5m and medical treatment device that replaces the function of the damaged ear. Unlike hearing aids, it does the work of damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlear) to send signals to the brain. It also transforms speech and other sounds into electrical energy that is used to stimulate the hearing nerve in the inner ear.
“It also has both internal and external components. She was diagnosed with lack of speech and language acquisition and inability to hear and no history of familial hearing loss.
“She will require binaural post auricular type of cochlear and hearing aids, with ear mould to enable her to hear better and cope with her education. The cost of the cochlear implant treatment and moulds is N5m in India.”
Kokumo is therefore appealing to well-meaning andpublic-spirited Nigerians to come to her aid to enable her to make use of her ears.
“I hereby call on well-meaning and kind-hearted Nigerians to come to my aid in raising the required amount (N5.38m). This would bring sunshine into my life and also bring to an end untold hardship experienced in coping with my academic career and in my day-to-day life. I would be forever grateful for your assistance,” she says.
Donations can be sent to her bank account number: 0225665107, Kokumo Folashade Oluwaseun, WEMA Bank, Oke-Ilewo branch, Abeokuta, Ogun State; or Access Bank, Sapon branch, Abeokuta, account number:             0034194247      . You can also contact her on 08180989549 (text messages only).
Thank you And God Bless

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