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Mother needs help for son with hearing problem

Carol-Ann Tudor

Mother needs help for son with hearing problem

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HE LOVES to play, and he loves to laugh, but Jaheim Sealy-Wharton can be quite a handful sometimes.
Unlike most five-year-olds who can talk and express themselves properly, Jaheim can’t talk and often shows his frustration.
That’s because Jaheim is completely deaf in one ear, and has severe hearing loss in the other.
He needs to get a cochlear implantation which is to be done by the Jackson Memorial University in Miami and will cost BDS$100 000.
But his mother Alison Sealy, doesn’t know how she will start accumulating this massive amount to prevent the situation from becoming any worse, which is what doctors say can happen.
 They recommend that he gets the operation next year.
Sealy told the SATURDAY SUN, she realised something was wrong when, at the age of two, Jaheim was still not talking.
“I found it strange that he was taking so long to talk, his cousin and others around his same age were talking, but Jaheim wasn’t, so we decided to take him to the doctor to find out if something was wrong.”
She first took him to Dr Marquis Dowell in Worthing, who then referred him to Dr Ben Stabler in Belleville, where his hearing problems were diagnosed.
Sealy then sought a second opinion which again showed that he was deaf in his left ear, and could “hear a little in the right”.
The 22-year-old mother said she then sought further tests at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but the necessary equipment was “not functioning”.
Sealy said private examinations (a Cat Scan and an MRI, Magnetic Resonance Imaging) revealed a “white matter on his brain”.
“They still haven’t told me what the white matter on his brain is, but all I know is that he needs an operation that will be very costly and I don’t know where I will get the money from,” she stated.
Jaheim has had evaluations done overseas, which cost $10 000.
Sealy said she tried to get some funding from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to have the overseas operation done, but was told that there are others awaiting similar operations, so Jaheim would have to wait.
“If he doesn’t get this operation soon, his chances of ever speaking will worsen, because even after that he will have to seek speech therapy for another five years,” she said
Speech therapy for Jaheim costs $100 an hour, but even that was hard to accumulate, Sealy said.