After spending the first two years of her life in silence, Michelle Grace can now hear for the first time after undergoing a free surgery as part of the Year of Giving in Dubai.
Michelle was first discovered to be deaf by her grandmother when she visited the family back in March 2017. “My mum wondered out loud why Michelle wasn’t talking,” says Dominique Villafuerte, Michelle’s mother.
The family then began conducting all the necessary test to find out that Michelle couldn’t hear. That was when they decided to get her a hearing aid but it didn’t help much.
“The hearing aid was placed in March and till June we saw no progress,” said Villafuerte.
Michelle’s mother was later connected to the Ministry of Health and Prevention to discover that her daughter could receive free check-ups and consultation, and that the UAE’s Year of Giving campaign could conduct her daughter’s surgery for free.
“The Ministry of Health and Prevention had a ‘Help me hear’ initiative, under which they were providing free surgeries to children who were hard of hearing,” she said.
The initiative was launched by His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed, who announced 2016 as the Year of Giving.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention conducted surgeries for 10 emirate patients in cooperation with Emirates ENT society. The surgeries will continue this year as well for those who can’t afford the expenses.