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Catherine Wanjiku

Program and Impact Coordinator, Lugha Ishara

Bold Question: What if we provided Deaf children with a space to learn, lead and thrive in a way that is accessible and inclusive?

Pathway to Metis: “ It cannot be that hard..” These are the words I would say a lot as I grappled with the reality of raising a Deaf child. Turns out, things are really that bad! I remember I read the final results of my son’s diagnosis at a cafe of the now demolished Taj mall. “ bilateral severe to profound hearing loss” in that moment those words meant nothing to me and so I thought to myself “ It cannot be that bad, I am sure something can be done about it”. A week or so later, I took the results back to the referring neurologist for an explanation. I sat in the waiting room reassured. I was not anxious or nervous. I was not anxious or nervous.I was sure she had good news for me, a way forward, a “fix”. Later we sat with the neurologist discussing the recommended interventions. One of the recommended interventions was a Cochlear implant. A cochlear implant is an internal device that passes the impaired part of the ear directly to the brain.In my self assured state I thought to myself ,“It cannot be that hard to get one, I am sure this thing is affordable.”

On a return visit as I sat in the same waiting room, I saw a lady whose child had the device the doctor had recommended. Since my last visit, I had made Dr. Google my friend and I was vaguely familiar with how the device looked. A conversation sparked between us. In hindsight,her willingness to answer all my questions with unabated patience ignited something inside me. I would not discover what it is until much later in this journey. It was only after that conversation and more “ chats” with Dr. Google that I realised how daunting this experience could get. You see, this device that the doctor recommended was a surgical device, the surgery would cost millions of shillings. 3.5million shillings per ear to be exact! You would be wrong to think that this is the time I snapped out of my self-assured state.

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Catherine  Wanjiku
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