Eli was born on 12th of December 2016, and his parents had no idea until the moment he entered his new world that he had been born with a narrowed ear canal and a skin tag on his left ear (Microtia of the left ear).
This meant that little Eli would have to undergo numerous hearing tests to understand the full extent of his hearing loss. The results showed that he had only limited hearing ability in his left ear, a condition known as SSD (Single sided deafness).
By the time Eli was a year old, he was no stranger to doctors. He had seen three Paediatricians, two audiologists and two plastic surgeons.
Eli’s parents followed their gut feeling and entrusted Eli’s hearing journey to the world-renowned Dr Maurice Hockman (ENT surgeon), Dr Gabriel Doucas (plastic surgeon), Mrs Estee Rau (Audiologist) and Nadine (Southern ENT). This dynamic team is based at the Netcare Linksfield Hospital in Johannesburg.
Given the risks involved with undergoing surgeries at such a young age, we were advised to wait until Eli was at least six years old or until he had developed enough to take the next step in what was to be a very exciting journey for him and a very nerve-racking one for his Mom and Dad.
As the six years passed, Eli felt very self-conscious about his skin tags and had to endure remarks made by children and adults alike. But now, it was finally time to go back to Linksfield Hospital. It was finally time to start the process that Eli had been so desperately looking forward to for all his life.
Eli was an absolute champion, and to say that he was brave would be putting it mildly as his expert medical team went about their business planning the operation, which would see his skin tags removed, his ear lobe reconstructed and the insertion of a Cochlear™ Osia® OSI200 hearing implant (a bone conduction hearing system, reimagined).
The Osia® OSI200 is placed under the skin and works by bypassing damaged areas of the outer and middle ear, which sends sound directly to the inner ear. The implant is attached to the BI300, which is Cochlear™’s latest titanium implant featuring TiOblast™ surface technology.
Eli received his Cochlear™ Osia® surgery on the 1st of March 2023 and is only the 5th person in South Africa to receive the Osia® implant. He is also the 1st privately funded person in South Africa to receive this groundbreaking implant and because of this, the amazing team at Southern ENT have decided to follow Eli’s journey as they endeavour to showcase his new hearing experiences and improved quality of life with his Cochlear™ Osia®.
We have seen Eli’s confidence improve dramatically after his surgery, and we are so proud of him for being such a brave boy. And because of his unwavering bravery and determination, he now has full hearing in both ears, he is now able to walk with his head held high, he gets to be a “normal kid”, as he would put it and is a very happy boy.