Even after 25 years I can still say that every day I see miracles occur at Hear and Say. From the miracle of a ‘switch on’ when a baby hears their mother’s voice for the first time to the simple joy of hearing a child running down the corridor with explosions of laughter because of something they heard.
Miracles come in many forms and recently I had the joy of witnessing a ‘global’ miracle.
Members of the clinical team have had, over the years, opportunities to connect with like-minded clinicians from other countries where access to hearing and speaking for young ones is less available then it is here in Australia. In particular I refer to our work in Russian speaking countries.
A few weeks back our Clinical Director, Emma Rushbrooke oversaw the remote programming of the cochlear implant of a two year old deaf child in Kyrgyzstan with heart-warming results.
Dmitri, an audiologist in Kiev was hands-on with his two computers, matched by Emma’s two computers and another pair of computers in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan where the young child sat on his therapist’s lap, facing a camera which picked up all his reactions and expressions.
Just to get this far was a massive global operation which was organised by Dr Monika Lehnhardt and Michael Gorianey of the Ernst Lehnhardt Foundation, Basel, Switzerland. We had a team of six professionals including myself and Emma, plus an added Kyrgyzstan translator with the mother and child, communicating in four different languages, Russian, German, English and Kyrgyzstan.
This was very exciting as it marked the beginning of a new era of remote cochlear implant programming in many Russian speaking countries, helping hundreds of young deaf children to listen and speak in this huge country and around nine other countries where Russian is spoken.
Well done to everyone involved and especially to Emma for her talent, expertise and yet another should out for her brilliant book ‘Telepractice in Audiology’, co-edited with K. Todd Houston, on how to set up remote programming!
Here is to even more successes as we bridge the global divide and continue to see hearing, speaking and listening outcomes for every child!
Dr Dimity Dornan
Hear and Say’s Clinical Director, Emma Rushbrooke