Cinga’s Progress

January 16, 2017

Bold Beginnings

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In a story that continues to inspire, Cinga Lande is experiencing and achieving remarkable milestones on her Journey to Sound.

Cinga was born in 2014 to proud parents Siyabulela and Nolutho. In this heart-warming video about their family’s story, Siyabulela speaks glowingly about his darling daughter about saying “She smiles a lot. She is special to me, close to me.”

Although Cinga entered the world with a severe hearing impairment, her disability went undiagnosed because she did not receive access to an important Newborn Hearing Screening Test.

At around five months of age, it was discovered for the first time that she could not hear. Her father speaking about that time, remarked that it is “Very tough to live with someone who couldn’t hear, especially in our communities.”

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Cinga’s SuperHEARo Help

When the local Red Cross recommended Carel du Toit in Tygerberg, Cinga’s father transformed into a SuperHEARo parent and went in search for the centre that specializes in therapy and education for children who experience hearing loss or impairment.  Experts there explained that Cinga might be able to benefit immensely from the technology offered by a Cochlear Implant.

Cinga was next assessed by the Tygerberg Hospital Stellenbosch Cochlear Implant Unit whom showed she’d be an excellent candidate to receive a Cochlear Implant.

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Saving the Day: The Gift of Sound

Far from finished, when Cinga’s parents learned the cost associated with an implant they realized the hard part had just begun! As her father recounts “I almost lose hope that she will be able to talk because once I hear that Cochlear Implant is very expensive and I choked, I will never ever be able to save that in a lifetime.” [Quote from above video link] Despite the challenge, Cinga’s family never lost hope! Just when the financial challenge seemed insurmountable generous donors stepped in to save the day, each one working in their area of expertise. Southern ENT tackled sticky red tape that arose with customs authorities. Others donated the use of their facilities, their professional skills, or money toward the cost of the device.

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Working together they levelled the economic odds and committed to future support for Cinga. Cinga successfully received a Cochlear implant in September of 2016.

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Shout out to those who held a part in making sound possible!

- Tygerberg Hospital Stellenbosch University Cochlear Implant Unit – Assessed and assisted Cinga

- KFM- advocated and raised awareness of the family’s need

- The Bidvest Hear For Life Trust – covered the cost of the Cochlear technical device

- The Netcare Foundation – Donated the hospital stay & medical care at no cost

- Prof. Loock & Dr. Visser – Medical surgeons who operated free of charge

- Carel du Toit Chat Centre – expert audiologists and ongoing care and support.

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A Village of Love and Support

It has been the concentrated effort and support of this entire village of SuperHEARoes that created this opportunity for Cinga. Southern ENT is proud of the dedicated South African SuperHEARoes in action, making a difference! Each individual involved in this case has given their talent and strength to provide a supportive foundation for Cinga.

Cinga’s parents Siyabulela and Nolutho have demonstrated commendable advocacy by taking action and seeking professional help. Without her father’s determination, Cinga may have never been afforded the opportunity to receive an implant. They continue to provide vital parent involvement at home.

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Remarkable Milestones: Activation Day

It was an exciting activation day that took place once Cinga was completely healed from the procedure. Cinga’s audiologist, Surida Booysen, reports on the remarkable milestone saying that “She [Cinga] was initially quite hesitant to allow the processor on her ear, but after some good coaching from her dad and mom, she surprised us all as she did not want us to take it off during our session. We are optimistic about her future as she showed immediate and clear responses to the activation of the electrodes.  For now, it clear that the implant is working and that the road to listening and spoken language awaits bright-eyed Cinga!” [Quote from email]

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A Future Full of Hope

While the journey of sound is just beginning, on activation day the clearly positive progress is encouraging and optimistic!

Cinga will continue to receive MAPPing, rehabilitation and support from Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg Cochlear Implant Unit and the Carel du Toit Centre. She will also depend on her parents and family for a high level of support at home.

With perseverance and support she faces a future full of hope. We look forward to seeing more of her beautiful smile and hearing her one day share her story in her own words!

Note: To learn more about Bidvest Hear for Life Trust read this article about their amazing work.

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For any information or advice, please call our offices on 011 667 6243

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