Receiving a call from an audiologist at The National Institutes of Health (NIH) asking for help is a rare occurrence at TLC. TLC’s Family Hearing Center Director, Susan Yaffe-Oziel, received just that call in August, and was prepared to help in any way possible.
A 9 year old boy named “Andrew” who has an extremely rare autoimmune disorder called NEMO deficiency is receiving treatment at NIH. Andrew and his brother have two of four known cases in the world. The family moved to Miami in 2009, from Columbia because of lack of treatment options in their country. In June 2012, they relocated to NIH in Bethesda for treatment and have remained there ever since. Because of the severity of Andrew’s illness, no one ever suspected he had a hearing loss until he got to NIH. The staff there thought that his language delays and behavioral issues were not related to his illness and audiologists tested his hearing.
NIH does not dispense hearing aids and called to ask TLC’s Susan Yaffe-Oziel if she knew any way to get help for this family, since they could not afford hearing aids for their son. Susan was thrilled to tell the NIH audiologist about TLC’s Help Others Hear program, which provides free hearing aids to children and adults who could not otherwise afford them. Recently, Andrew was fitted with his hearing aids. His new hearing aids will allow him to communicate more effectively with his parents, his brother and his team of doctors.
Thank you to our donors for their generous support of Help Others Hear, which allowed TLC to enhance the quality of Andrew’s life!