Parents' Letter (April 19, 2012)
Dear Chance Foundation founders and staff members,
We are the family of a charming little girl Yana. She was born on March 29, 2009. It was the happiest day of our life for she was a loved and long-awaited child. Each day, every minute made us happy — we were raising a healthy, active and cheerful girl. We were full of happiness and fear lest something should interfere with it.
Little Yana was developing normally. All our visits to the doctor always ended with the same words: “Your baby is healthy”. The only thing that alarmed us was her indifference to surrounding sounds: those of things having been dropped or loud speech. At 6 months we told our doctor about our concern. But we were assured that the baby was too young and just hadn’t learned yet to respond to the sounds. We kept watching our girl till she turned 8 months. Sometimes it even seemed that we had really made the problem up for the child cooed and pronounced certain syllables. But she still rarely responded to the sounds. We were trying to comfort ourselves by the thought that she was very busy with doing something interesting and didn’t want to be distracted. But the fear didn’t go away and we got a referral to an audiologist. At nine months the doctors awarded their sentence on Yana — severe sensorineural hearing loss. Starting that moment our life changed drastically. We endured a lot of things. The only thing we knew for sure was that there was no way for us to give up. We had to go ahead. We got a free hearing-aid but it turned out to be too weak for our hearing loss. We saved money and bought two more powerful digital hearing-aids. We started to study intensely. And the results ensured: our little Yana began responding and recognizing certain sounds, she started to imitate some sounds. And after having reached that level we stopped. And the time was passing by. By 18 months we were offered to receive a cochlear implant. We had many doubts but we couldn’t let ourselves to lose such a chance: we were raising a gifted, very smart child and we had to help her.
On November 18, 2010 Yana was operated on. On December 20 the speech processor was hooked up. We started practicing and studying at home and with instructors. Yana was learning every day, every minute. She learned to respond to sounds very quickly, first sounds emerged, then first syllables and finally the first word — Dady. Our daughter is very intelligent. She is hard-working and diligent. And she has already realized how important the ability to hear and speak is for her. She is our joy and she makes our life worth living. And we will do anything to help our child be successful in life.
We have learned a lot so far. Yana can do many things. But she still has a lot of things to learn. The specialists recommend us to get a more powerful OPUS-2 speech processor by Medel company. The device would provide a clearer sound and improve the child’s ability to hear in any environment. It costs a lot. For our family the amount is too big since most of our household income is spent on things related to Yana’s rehabilitation. Anyway we managed to raise part of the amount with the help of our relatives.
We are asking you to help us make our dream come true.
the Sirotyuk family
July 6, 2012