Two Year Old Anton has hearing loss on his right side. He needs surgery to help him hear normally.
Where Does Sound Come From?
Soon after Anton’s birth I was told that he couldn’t use his right ear and was advised to see a specialist right after leaving the birthing home. When Anton was 1 month old, he was referred to the Regional Children's Clinical Hospital in Rostov-on-Don, where my son was diagnosed with “conductive hearing loss, atresia (imperforation. –RACF) of the right auditory canal, microtia (absence. –RACF) of the right aural cavity”. The doctors explained that there was nothing to be done about it. They recommended that we see an audiologist, and then have frequent sessions with a speech-language pathologist when Anton gets older.
Despite his healthy left ear, my son did not react to any sounds - not even loud noise. At three months old, he finally began to react to loud voices, but only if they came from the left - his healthy - ear.
When Anton turned 7 months old, our audiologist suggested that we install a bone-conduction hearing aid. But this is a temporary solution, as she explained, since the skull bone would grow thicker and impermeable to sound. But we didn’t even get the temporary device, as Anton was not assigned a disability status with one healthy ear, so we could not obtain the device for free. And we couldn’t afford to buy it ourselves - it was too expensive.
I began to search the Internet and stumbled upon the story of Ivan Primak - a boy with bilateral conductive hearing loss. Doctors at an American clinic - California Ear Institute - in Palo Alto, California restored his auditory canals and shaped an auditory cavity from special material. Now Ivan is no different from other children and can hear without any problems.
When the clinic’s specialists visited Moscow this spring, I asked them to examine Anton. They confirmed that my son's hearing can be completely restored after just one surgery. I had new hope. But time is working against us. The older Anton gets, the worse he orientates himself in the outside world. It is especially dreadful when we go outside. My son cannot determine where cars are approaching from. His hearing problems are also impeding his speech development. At the age of 2, Anton only knows 15 words. If we do not perform this surgery, our son will be unable to live a full-fledged life, go to a regular school, and communicate with his peers. Please, give Anton this chance for a normal life!
Maria Lushina, Rostov region.
California Ear Institute Otolaryngologist Joseph Roberson, M.D. (Palo Alto, California, USA): “Anton is missing his right auditory canal and auditory cavity. This is severely impeding his development. The boy has a good chance to restore his hearing. Seeing as Anton’s inner auditory anatomy is fully preserved, as shown by the CT scans, we can create an auditory canal during the surgery. We can shape an auditory cavity using an artificial material called Medpor. Following this treatment, Anton will have no problems in developing properly with age.”
Anton’s treatment will cost $85,000. We are happy to report that the Rusfond children's charity in Moscow has raised the entire amount needed. However, an additional $9,750 is required for him and his mother's flights, accommodations, food, local transportation, and other associated expenses for the duration of their stay in the USA.
If you want to help Anton please don't let the cost stop you. Your donation in any amount will be gratefully accepted. You can contribute to Russian American Children's Foundation using a Credit Card, PayPal, or by sending a check made payable to:
Russian American Children's Foundation
420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 300
New York, NY 10170
Thank you! All donations in excess of what is needed for Anton will help other children in need of ear surgery.