Five-year-old My had been one of the first children to receive treatment via the joint Vietnam program of Hear the World and the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss. She had just received her cochlear implant in Ho Chi Minh City, and her hearing and speech skills were steadily improving. Following surgery, My quickly developed a love for music and singing. Like many children worldwide, she particularly enjoys watching TikTok videos – a simple pleasure but still a miracle to her family.
My was born with severe hearing loss and could not hear any sounds for the first years of her life. Although the family had long suspected it, My was not officially diagnosed until she was three years old. She had received a pair of hearing aids and professional therapy, but the effect was limited due to the severity of her hearing loss. She needed a cochlear implant, which her family could not afford.
My’s mother, Hanh, discovered the joint program of Hear the World and the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss that supported children in Vietnam with the need for a cochlear implant in the past. This paved the way for the urgently needed surgery. My’s hearing and speech have since been improving day by day. She attends speech therapy, an essential pillar of our Foundation’s holistic care approach. And Hanh has made it clear that she does not take her daughter’s ability to hear for granted. She consistently supports the teachers’ and therapists’ efforts by practicing and reading with her at home.
Along with My’s hearing, the eight-year-old girl's mood, attentiveness, and general outlook have also completely changed. She had made several friends in Kindergarten, and when we spoke, she was about to start first grade at a regular school and already had a favorite subject, maths. With the pandemic preventing schools from opening, her older sister remained an important communication partner and playmate at home.
Bursting with curiosity
Today, the first thing My does when she wakes up in the morning is to ask for her sound processor. Eager to experience life to its fullest, her family marvel at her curiosity and the fact that she is usually overflowing with questions. With this profound shift in her everyday life comes general contentment and self-sufficiency. At times, My still loves to play on her own, especially with her dollhouse and puzzles – but today, it is by choice and not due to a lack of playmates. Her independence also means that others can rely on her. Her family now asks for her help with chores and small errands, and following instructions is no longer an impediment. The past years of absorbing her surroundings with all of her senses have led My to develop a healthy self-esteem. Her parents are proud to report that she is an outspoken little girl and has no trouble standing up for herself.
Supporting children like My and her family on their life-changing journeys from silence to sound and witnessing the positive impact on their daily lives makes our work truly meaningful.