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March 28, 2003

Help to heal her hearing

From: City Vision, South Africa - Mar 28, 2003


An appeal to the kind
heart of the community

LIKE any young girl her age, Thozi Khedama is a boisterous, bustling and bouncing six year-old oozing confidence. Although blessed with these attributes, there is also another aspect of her that is not immediatly noticeable until she starts to talk.

When she greets, the sound she emits is so jumbled up that one needs to have spent some time with her in order to understand exactly what she is trying to say.

This is because Thozi Khedama is deaf. She was born with a condition in which the electrical impulses in her eardrum cannot reach the fibres in the hearing nerve, thus preventing the auditory information from being carried to her brain.

This severly affects speech, as there is total lack of co-ordination between talking and hearing.

But with modern technology her condition can be bettered and her hearing can be restored. But this does not come cheaply.

Doctors have told her mother Zanele that if she wants Thozi to be able to hear again, she must raise about R145 000 to install a nucleus cochlear implant system. The system is implanted in her inner and outer ear and, it is hoped, will change Thozi's life for the better. Otherwise she will remain in her persent state forever.

The problem is that Zanele Khedama is a domestic worker and the prospects of her ever raising that amount of money on her own are remote indeed.

Zanele is registered with the University of Stellenbosch as a fundraiser, since her daughter's condition meets the selection criteria as set out by the director of the cochlear implant unit.

According to the unit's rules, funds for the operation on Thozi can be raised in various ways. These include stokvels and bazaars, church fêtes, dances and so on. City Vision , as a paper rooted in the communities in which it is distributed, is making a plea for people to throw in their lot to help this cheerful young soul get her hearing.
Donations, from as little as R10 upwards, can be made at any branch of Standard Bank. Deposit to the Stellenbosch University Branch, branch code No. 050610, Account No. 073006955. On the deposit slip mark it to: Cochlear Implant Unit: Project Thozama.
If you have any queries please call our office at 021 917 7474 and ask for Tarzan Mbita.

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