Operation Healing Hands - OHH


Tadiwa Mohambane was born nine months ago. The perfect little girl to her mom Lunghisani and dad Phillip. However, earlier this year, it all changed. Tadiwa was diagnosed with Meningitis. This was not the only bad news. After spending seventeen days in the hospital, the doctors started to suspect that Tadiwa might be suffering some hearing loss. After tests were run, it was confirmed- she was deaf in both ears.

Mama Lunghisani was crushed. How could this happen? Her beautiful girl, born healthy as a horse, was now all of a sudden deaf. What kind of life does a deaf child have? Would her friends shun her one day? Would she even be able to make friends?

Phillip openly adores his little girl. He would no matter what. But it was difficult accepting that his beautiful little girl would never hear again. As a dad, he just wanted the best for her. Just like for her twelve-year-old healthy brother.

Through one of the doctors who treated Tadiwa, the family was made aware of Operation Healing Hands and the work we do. Lunghisani immediately made contact, and within a week, it was decided that Tadiwa was a perfect fit for the program. 

On 10 October 2019, Tadiwa received her cochlear implant at Zuid Afrikaans Hospital. The operation was done courtesy of OHH, and Tadiwa’s electrodes were sponsored by Hear UP and PCIU. The surgery and electrodes sponsor, however, was not the only good news.

Eduplex is a unique mainstream preschool, primary and high school where a few children with hearing loss are included in the classes and learn alongside their friends with normal hearing. It is a unique way for kids with hearing disabilities to integrate perfectly and smoothly with hearing friends. (www.eduplex.co.za)

The school generously offered to take Tadiwa in as soon as she reaches schooling age. This way, she will be integrated with hearing students, taught to communicate and be able to lead a normal school life.

As a woman living with a hearing disability herself, Dr. Helene Basson was very excited about this project. “I can first-hand bear witness to how hearing loss can make you feel excluded and separate from the rest of the world. I wear hearing aids myself, and I know what a difference being able to hear makes in your day to day life.”

Tadiwa has her whole life ahead of her. She can be whomever she chooses to be. Her life will not be normal.  It will be remarkable.

Article by Yolande Strauss


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