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August 17, 2004

Mystery donor pays for Ali op

From: Gulf Daily News, Bahrain - Aug 17, 2004


A 13-month-old Bahraini boy may soon be able to hear, thanks to a mystery benefactor.

Ali Abdulghani Saleh Al Asfoor's family needed BD15,000 to get him a cochlear implant, but repeated appeals had raised only BD5,200 over seven weeks.

But now a Bahraini who read about his plight has made up the difference and it is hoped that Ali will undergo the operation at the end of the month at the Saad Specialist Hospital in Al Khobar.

Arrangements are expected to be finalised by early next week.

Ali's uncle, Mohammed Al Asfoor, said that the family had never lost hope and were grateful to the benefactor, who did not want to be identified.

"I am really glad that there are such people in our community and God bless this angel, without whom our wait would have continued," he told the GDN yesterday.

"We want to thank everyone who has donated for the cause and hopefully their support will prove worth it when Ali's operation is successful."

Mr Al Asfoor said that he couldn't express his gratitude and appreciation for the efforts and contribution of everyone involved, because words of thank you weren't enough.

"My family appreciates the concern and support of everyone who has donated or called asking about Ali in this loving and caring country - whether locals or expats," he said.

"The family will always be in debt to everyone who has helped us in our time of need."

Ali was diagnosed by doctors at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) as suffering severe damage to his inner ears, which meant he would be never be able to hear - even with a hearing-aid.

Ali needed the operation to be carried out quickly to improve his chances of learning to talk.

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

The family discovered Ali was deaf when he was six-months-old.

Ali's 30-year-old father is holding down various jobs to feed the family and cannot afford to pay for the operation.

Ali's mother is 26-year-old Khatoon and the couple also have a four-year-old daughter Mona.

Copyright © 2004, Gulf Daily News