18 August 2015
It’s a heavy blow for any family to find out that their child was born deaf. The Shvetsov family had to withstand it twice. The first time was 15 years ago, when the eldest daughter Nastya was born, and the second time – 12 years later, after Gleb’s birth. Both children have bilateral hearing impairment, they can’t perceive and recognize sounds. They can learn to do it, but only with special equipment and doctors’ help, which will cost the parents a lot of money.
Nastya had worn a hearing aid until she was in her teens. Memories of that time are still fresh: how difficult it was for the girl to get used to the device, how embarrassed she was, how the world changed whenever she removed it. Therefore when the parents were offered to get cochlear implants for their children, they agreed at once, so that it was easier for Gleb to learn to hear and speak, and so that Nastya didn’t depend on a hearing aid anymore.
The children went through the surgery last year. Now something not given to them by nature will be made up for by high technology. The device only provides an opportunity to hear, and medical specialists work for a long time to teach a child to recognize sounds and to speak. There aren’t many of such specialists in Russia, and their services cost a fortune.
One of the few centres where children undergo rehabilitation after cochlear implantation is located in Moscow Oblast. To achieve the best results the centre’s specialists recommend to repeat the treatment 3 times a year. It’s 135,000 roubles for one child. The only one working in the family is the father, he is a taxi-driver and his monthly salary is around 20,000 roubles. The mother can’t go to work because the children need to be engaged, particularly little Gleb requires much attention. There are also two disability pensions, but all the sources of income are not enough to pay for the treatment. We turn to you for help in paying for Gleb’s auditory-verbal therapy. The boy is already registered at the health centre, but his parents are out of money. Help, please.