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May 17, 2007

6-week wait to hear the news

From: Border Mail, Australia - May 17, 2007

A NEW Zealand girl emerged from pioneering neuro-surgery yesterday free of complications, but doctors in Melbourne say it will be six weeks before they know if they have restored her hearing.

Jorja Steele, 3, from Christchurch, was left profoundly deaf after contracting meningitis in 2005, just before her first birthday.

Yesterday at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital she became the first child in Australasia to have an auditory brain stem implant.

The surgery involved placing a prosthetic device on the nerve centre at the base of the brain, bypassing the cochlea and the auditory nerve to transmit sound directly to the brainstem.

Jorja’s surgery had no complications.

Doctors will wait six weeks to let her heal before turning on the device.

© 2007 The Border Morning Mail Pty Ltd.