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June 26, 2004

Deaf boy Ali's family appeals

From: Gulf Daily News - Manama,Bahrain - Jun 26, 2004


A PLEA has gone out to help give a one-year-old deaf Bahraini boy the gift of hearing. Ali Abdulghani Saleh Al Asfoor's family are appealing for cash for a cochlea implant, which will help him hear.

A campaign to collect BD15,000 has been launched by the family, in co-ordination with the Bahraini news website

Thanks to people's immediate response, BD2,000 has already been collected, but the family is in need of more, to have the operation for Ali as soon as possible.

Ali's uncle, Mohammed, 42, said that they took Ali to the Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) after his mother discovered he was deaf when he was six months old.

"Doctors at SMC gave us a report that Ali was suffering from a severe damage to the inner-ears and that he would never be able to hear even with the help of hearing-aid apparatus," he said.

"We then took Ali to the Saad Specialised Hospital in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province and their diagnosis was the same, but unlike SMC they stressed that they can carry out the operation.

"Doctors said that it would be better to insert the implant now rather than wait until he grows up, because then his ability to talk will be better," he said.

"A child listens to those around him at his first months and if he is incapable of listening, then his speech is affected."

Mr Al Asfoor said that his 30-year-old brother was working in various jobs to feed his family and could not afford the operation.

Ali's mother is 26-year-old housewife Khutoon and he has a four-year-old sister, Mona.

"We are looking up to people in this community to help Ali," said Mr Al Asfoor.

"It doesn't matter from which background, race or religion and even sect you are, what matters is that you could help bring smiles to a couple who are worried about their child.

"We pray every day that Ali will be fine, as other children and I know that people here in Bahrain are kind-hearted and hopefully they will help Ali to grow healthy."

For more information contact 39674106 or 39083766. Donations may also be made to the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) account 276902602.

Copyright © 2004, Gulf Daily News