Rahul Ghai talks on how the world of silence turned into swirls of laughter



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Do sounds matter in our lives? Yes of course they do. And perhaps we realize the importance when we are denied of any sound in our lives. Rahul and Sanjana talk on how their adorable daughter Rhea was born with a specific hearing impairment, how it changed their lives and now why they feel technology and support helped them to move ahead in life.

This story is brought to you by Mums and Stories in association with Advanced Bionics

Rahul Ghai, a dad who is been through the journey of seeing the change in his daughter shares, “It was quite a few years until we realized our little daughter Rhea couldn’t hear a sound.  Actually it took us two and half years to be precise. Perhaps she was at peace with the silent world she had embraced or she thought the world was silent all along. Even now she does want to go into that world where she can be without distraction and we do allow her as she has the right to be with and without sounds.

So as much as it is her right to be in a world that has sounds and enjoy that too, it was strange, shocking and absurd for us as parents to find that after a normal pregnancy, delivery and good environment of a lovely family at home, suddenly a shocker came that the little one had all along been with us without a sound.

Rhea was and even now is a cheerful child. But she was a hyperactive child and she would talk loudly. Now we understand that perhaps she never could listen to her own voice, so she couldn’t figure out the pitch. Also regarding her language skills, she did pick a few words and maybe she did with her observation skills. She would even place her hand on the car stereo and shake her hand if I would respond to the music played, so there was never any doubt. But in retrospect, maybe there were signs which we didn’t acknowledge.

I remember once we were on a holiday – actually a work assignment where I had taken my wife and child to accompany me. Over there, we realized something is definitely not right. Back home, we live in a joint family and it is ironical that none of us could expect or suspect a concern.

(Rhea with her mum Sanjana)

Sanjana, Rhea’s mother adds, “I went blank when I first came to know on the gravity of the situation.   Life did seem to go for a dead-end, but thankfully it hasn’t been so. We are grateful to whatever help and support we have received including the doctor who treated our daughter.

Also the timely intervention of the treatment including the surgery ensured Rhea didn’t miss out on being the cheerful child she is in life, like in school or with friends as she is an extrovert child.

She loves music and dance and it’s amazing to even watch her enjoy these joys of life that could have been denied or pursued in limited capacity.”

Rahul quickly chips in to add, “Yet I want to make it clear that today my daughter is your normal, active child just like kids of her age. When we finally understood the seriousness of the situation, it was hard for us in the beginning, but now unless we speak about it, no one can ever figure out anything amiss. As Sanjana mentions, Rhea loves music like me and earlier if she would observe and nodding her head to the beats, she now really enjoys listening to it. This is real and this is reality, thankfully.”

After a long pause Rahul shares, “We did visit several doctors to assess and be sure of the diagnosis. Then we were informed on Cochlear implants and we decided on Advanced Bionics cochlear implants. Again there were different opinions, different perspectives put forward by well-wishers and others but I must say, we were guided well.  We were guided by Dr. Sumit Mrig who patiently explained the process and was there primarily to listen to us.”

Dr. Sumit Mrig who is a Senior Consultant and Head Department of ENT and Chief Cochlear Implant Surgeon, shares “ Firstly as a doctor I must admit the little girl is doing fantastically well be it in school or adapting to the implant and the surgery. She is brilliant and no one can figure out any concern with her. She has also responded to the therapy sessions well. I am happy that she is under the care of parents who can take care of her well and went ahead with a decision that has made a difference in her life.”

Regarding early detection of hearing impairment in the country Dr. Sumit Mrig shares, “In many hospitals, an early assessment test is not done and most children pick up language only by one year or further. This causes the major delay in detection and it is most useful if one has the provision for early detection and early intervention.

It is crucial for parents to understand and more importantly the mother’s role is important in a child’s life, as she generally gets to spend the maximum amount of time with the child.

Deafness or Hearing impairment can be solved in many cases, if there are adequate support systems, techniques and right interventions used.”

As a final note, Rahul shares, “I think we did believe good would happen and it has resulted in a positive outcome. My little one is now sensitive to sounds than most of us like water droplets from taps, noises that we would otherwise not pay attention. I guess she is more alert and much to my surprise she wasn’t aversive to the therapy or surgery or the implant. She has been positive to all of them and it has helped her in better communication.”

 Advanced Bionics can be reached at

Advanced Bionics India Pvt. Ltd #9/36, Vaishnavi Sapphire Centre, 3rd Floor, Bangalore – Tumkur Road, Yeshwanthpur, Bangalore – 560 022.

T: +080.2972.4466 email- info.india@AdvancedBionics.com

 

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