Team effort gives Upington boy the gift of hearing with prosthetic ears

Team effort gives Upington boy the gift of hearing with prosthetic ears

- Six-year-old Elijah now has a better chance at a normal through a team of innovative medical professionals

- An innovative medical intervention has paved the way for life-enhancing prosthetic ears

- Mother of six-year old Elijah born with sealed ear canal spearheads process to get him new ears

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Various medical disciplines and organisations came together in 2018 to help a young boy born with underdeveloped ears and sealed ear canals get life changing surgical preparation for a pair of custom-made prosthetic pinna (external ears).

Six year-old Elijah Cloete has an unusual congenital medical condition known as microtia with bilateral congenital aural atresia.

According the boy's mother Shirene Cloete, Elijah was born with his ear canals sealed, while the visible, external part of the ears were tiny and malformed.

His surgery took place at Medicross Kalahari Cataract, Eye and Day Hospital in Upington.

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According to the Central University of Technology website, the mother saw anarticle of a boy with a similar condition as Elijah who had received assistance.

Maxillofacial prosthodontist Professor Cules van den Heever, the Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (CRPM) at the Central University of Technology (CUT) in the Free State and the Carl & Emily Fuchs Foundation, a private grant-making organisation had intervened for him to get surgery.

Shirene wasted no time and contacted the boy’s parents who put her in touch with the team, and that was the beginning of Elijah's journey to receive prosthetic ears.

According to CUT Shirene thanked the family who helped her connect with the experts and the organisations that provided funding.

“I am so grateful for everything that these organisations and individuals are doing to help my son. I thank God for bringing them all together to make this possible,” Shirene said.

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