It was a medical procedure that will potentially change the destiny of a four-year-old boy in Saudi Arabia.
- Wajdi Al Nasi, who has never uttered a word, giggles with delight after hearing for the first time
- A four-hour cochlear implant operation enables him to hear through an earpiece
- His father hopes that after six months of treatment, he will learn how to speak
Wajdi Al Nasi, who was born deaf and has never uttered a word, was able to hear for the first time after undergoing a delicate procedure at King Khalid Hospital in Najran.
Wajdi giggled with delight after hearing sounds through an earpiece, having undergone a four-hour cochlear implant operation.
It followed two years of checks and tests at the hospital’s otolaryngology department to check on the reliability of his auditory nerve and cochlea.
After resigning themselves to a life without sounds for Wajdi, his overjoyed father, Fadl Al-Hilali, said the family will now try to teach him how to speak.
“We have actually started language rehabilitation at the hands of speech therapists at King Khalid Hospital in Najran.
“The efforts that were made ended the suffering of my child Wajdi from severe hearing loss in both ears.”
External hearing aids were added last week, three weeks after the four-hour operation was successfully performed.
“We have passed the most difficult stage, and now comes the rehabilitation of the four-year-old child,” said Ahmed Al-Araqbi, the doctor who supervised the procedure.
Had the operation not been a success, Wajdi would have been transferred to Saudi Arabia’s Institute of Deaf and Mutes where he would be given a certificate of his disability.
Instead, his family hopes he will be able to talk to them and his friends by the end of the year.