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September 18, 2004

Ali is set for ear op in Egypt

From: Gulf Daily News, Bahrain - Sep 18, 2004


A 13-month-old deaf Bahraini boy travels to Egypt on Wednesday for an operation which will help him hear for the first time.

Ali Abdulghani Saleh Al Asfoor and his family will travel to Alexandria, where he is expected to undergo a cochlear implant early Saturday morning.

His family launched an appeal early this summer, to raise money for the operation.

A single donor stepped in with BD10,000, after the family's repeated appeals raised BD5,200.

The family was planning to take Ali to the Saad Specialist Hospital in Al Khobar, but the doctor who was supposed to carry out the operation returned to Egypt.

Ali's uncle Mohammed Al Asfoor said that the hospital had arranged for the same doctor to do the operation, at Alexandria University College of Medicine, where he is working at the moment.

"We have already bought the cochlear implant and paid for the operation and are gearing up to leave on Wednesday at 11.30am," said Mr Al Asfoor.

On Thursday, Ali will undergo medical check-ups to prepare him for the operation on Saturday.

"He will stay under supervision for four days after the operation and four days later we will hopefully be back home," said Mr Al Asfoor, who will be accompanying Ali and his parents.

He said that after the operation Ali would be under supervision by Salmaniya Medical Complex doctors for a month, before the outer piece is fixed.

He said that he was eager to have the operation, after months of wait.

Mr Al Asfoor said Ali's mother was always crying, as the day for the operation approaches.

"I don't know why she is crying, since the operation is 100pc guaranteed," he said.

"I think that's because she is a mother and everyone knows how a mother's heart is."

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

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

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

Ali's 30-year-old father is holding 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