73-year-old gets gift of hearing with cochlear implant | Western Cape Government

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73-year-old gets gift of hearing with cochlear implant

22 September 2020

Frederick Sansom (73) was delighted to have had his cochlear implant activated at Tygerberg Hospital after suffering from poor hearing for many years.

Mr Sansom lost the hearing in one ear as a child. He started losing the hearing in his other ear following a motor vehicle accident as an adult. His hearing became progressively worse until he could no longer benefit from hearing aids. Mr Sansom’s family struggled to find treatment for his impairment and went from doctor to doctor looking for help.

Two years ago, Mr Sansom attended his son’s wedding in the UK and was devastated as he could not even hear the bridal couple saying their vows on their special day. Upon his return to South Africa, he was referred to another audiologist in Tokai in Cape Town, and after many years of struggling was told, much to his relief, that he could be a candidate for a cochlear implant. Mr Sansom was then referred to the Tygerberg Hospital’s Cochlear Implant Unit where the team found that he would benefit from intervention.

On 22 May 2020, private ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon Dr Gary Kroukamp successfully implanted Mr Sansom and on 12 June 2020, the activation of the implant took place at Tygerberg Hospital.

“We were nervous and excited but so very grateful for this [cochlear implant] team's help amidst the COVID-19 lockdown. We attended our visits, and after about four weeks, Frederick can hear beyond all understanding, the best in his lifetime. He is making such a wonderful recovery. Soon he will be at a stage where we will only have to attend the Tygerberg Cochlear Implant Unit for check-ups,” said Mr Sansom’s wife, Mariana. 

“Nobody will ever understand the gratitude we experience that is unfolding in our lives. It is a miracle beyond comprehension, and we can only thank this wonderful team [at Tygerberg Hospital] for making our last years the best in our 43 years of marriage. We will never ever have words to describe this transformation of our lives through this cochlear implant,” added Mrs Sansom.

Post-COVID-19, their dream is to be able to return to the UK so that Frederick can visit the family there and have a good catch-up on all the things he missed out on. With his previous profound deafness, he could never fully indulge in family moments involving chatter and laughter. He could never hear them properly say the words ‘We love you, dad’ or ‘We are proud of you, dad.’

Mrs Sansom concluded: ‘Bravo, Cochlear Implant Team! We salute you. Thank you for changing lives even through the lockdown. You have always been there for us as a couple. How can we thank you for a cochlear implant during these uncertain times? This team needs an award and [the] biggest gratitude that anybody can get. Your work is highly appreciated. All our heartfelt thanks for the ongoing help and support. God bless. And remember, never stop believing in miracles and a second chance.’

The Tygerberg Hospital University of Stellenbosch Cochlear Implant Unit sees both private and state patients. Should you be interested in finding out more about cochlear implants, you can contact Jenny Perold on 021 938 5086 or via email at Jennifer.Perold@westerncape.gov.za.

Media Enquiries: 

Laticia Pienaar
Principal Communications Officer
Tygerberg Hospital
Tel: 021 938 5454
Cell: 081 039 4050
E-mail: Laticia.Pienaar@westerncape.gov.za