We were blessed with our first daughter, Maidah, in September 2016. As parents, we were so excited to have a baby girl in the family. But, just 6-7 months after birth, we literally thought that the world had been snatched away from her.
Nissar and her daughter Maidah
We had our suspicions from the start. Maidah wouldn’t respond at all when we would call her or say her name out loud. Even if any utensils would fall, she wouldn’t react or try to figure out what’s happening. If she was sleeping and we’d try to wake her up, she would not open her eyes or respond unless we shook her. We grew very suspicious once she was around 7 months old and last September (2017), we took her to a local hospital to get her checked up.
We were told that both her ears weren’t functioning, and she had been completely deaf since birth. This was so heartbreaking. My wife, Sakineh, and I broke down instantly. Just imagine, she hasn’t heard anything for almost two years now. She doesn’t know what anything sounds like. Even if she cries, she can’t hear her own voice and she has no idea what we’re saying. She won’t be able to talk if she can’t hear at all and it seems like her whole life is going to be affected so badly. Any parent would be heartbroken.
We were also told that if Maidah underwent a surgery, where she would get cochlear implants, she’d have chances of hearing for the first time. The surgery is very costly, and there is no way I can afford it. I’m just a driver. I work in Ladakh, driving someone else’s cab, during the summer months and earn around Rs. 6000 per month. During the colder months, all the roads are closed off due to heavy snowfall and it’s very hard to find work otherwise.
After learning about the surgery, I am determined to do anything to help my daughter hear again. In December (2017), I took Maidah to Delhi to learn more about the surgery. If Maidah gets cochlear implants, she’d undergo speech therapy for 18 months. I saw so many kids who got cochlear implants and were undergoing speech therapy, and they were doing great! They could hear again and were talking normally too. This gave me a lot of hope, I don’t want to give up.
Maidah is scheduled to have her surgery on the 26th of April. The surgery costs around Rs. 6.16 lakhs and there is no way I can afford that. I borrowed some money from my landlord and my manager for all the check-ups and numerous tests too, I just don’t know what to do now. Her surgery is 8 days away and I still need to arrange for the funds. We’re facing a really hard time right now.
It’ll be very hard for me to provide for her speech therapy too. There’s no such facility in a remote place like Ladakh. I can’t move to Delhi because I, simply, can’t afford the rent and living costs there. Hopefully, there’s some facility in Srinagar. To be honest, I can’t wait for the day she says “Papa” or “Mumma” for the first time. I really wish that day comes soon.
How you can help Maidah is suffering from severe hearing impairment. She has been deaf since birth but through a surgery, she has high chances of gaining the ability to hear. Her father, Nissar, who works as a cab driver in the remote district of Ladakh, is so poor that he has absolutely nothing to provide for her surgery. He needs your help to make his daughter hear for the first time.
Your support can help Maidah hear for the first time.