Microtia atresia is a rare birth defect, which causes a child to be born with a small, malformed, or missing ear. Only one out of 5,000 babies is born with this condition. RACF works with the California Ear Institute to help Russian children born without ears. American surgeons use advanced surgical techniques to create an ear where there wasn’t one and give a child the gift of hearing.
Little Vanya was born in Russia without two fully-formed ears. His right ear had only a 50 percent hearing ability. He had no hearing at all in his left ear, which did not have an ear canal. From the age of 5 months, Vanya had to wear a device on his head that amplified sound, but its effectiveness decreased over time. Without groundbreaking American medical treatment, Vanya would soon lose his ability to speak and be forced to live in a world without sound.