Omar's cochlear implants

Omar had a challenging start to life. After being diagnosed with profound deafness, The Portland Hospital made it possible for him to hear again.

Omars story about having cochlear implants at The Portland Hospital.jpg

“Hearing Omar speak his first word was the most joyous day of our lives.”

Dr Shahid Nazir
Omar's father

Omars cochlear implants

Born premature, Omar was delivered by emergency caesarean at just twenty nine weeks. As an infant, he developed septicaemia, a dangerous bacterial infection in the bloodstream. Dr Shahid Nazir, Omar’s father, explained the effect this had on the family: ‘We were devastated. He was in intensive care for six weeks, with several complications which required potent medication.

Sadly, the medication used to save him from the infection contributed to his loss of hearing. Powerful hearing aids were fitted to help Omar but they didn’t improve his deafness. Omar’s parents were told that he could be a suitable candidate for cochlear implant surgery. A cochlear implant stimulates the nerve in the ear to help people with profound hearing loss to have a sense of sound. He was booked in to have the device fitted in December 2010 at The Portland Hospital, with Consultant Paediatric ENT Surgeon Mr Ben Hartley.

Dr Nazir remembers, ‘Initially we were frightened with the prospect of surgery in a foreign land. It was a 4,000 mile journey to get to The Portland Hospital, far away from home. But the staff and personnel at the hospital were very supportive.’ The surgery and activation were a complete success. Omar was shaking his head and smiling after hearing sounds and voices for the very first time.

After a few months of programming sessions at The Portland Hospital, Omar spoke his first words. A year after the implant, he could even speak in full sentences, making progress in leaps and bounds. Four years after his first implant, Dr Nazir says Omar is progressing well. 'He goes to a normal school in Pakistan and he is now an independent child. Omar is doing well in all his subjects; he’s learning to speak Urdu and English at home and is learning how to speak Arabic at school.' 'We thank God and The Portland Hospital for giving Omar the chance to hear.'

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