Hearing for the First Time

Hearing for the First Time

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Little Amina, a 3 year old Iraqi girl, was born deaf. She has never heard the birds chirp, a dog bark, or her mother and father’s voices singing her to sleep. Thanks to Colonel Warner Anderson, she now knows the world of sound.

Anderson was stationed in Iraq in 2003, working as a doctor. He heard about Amina and mentioned her story to his wife, Ruth. Ruth contacted the head of otolaryngology at Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Thomas Balkany. Balkany agreed to the surgery.

Amina and her Father were flown to America. The International Kids Fund stepped in to raise the money for the surgery as well as provide travel, housing, and other necessities for their stay (a bill which now totals $40,000)

The surgery involved putting an implant into Amina’s ear. When the device was turned on, Amina heard her Father’s voice for the first time. Although the surgery is over, Amina still has hard work ahead of her. Most children learn names of loved ones and what to call objects as babies. She will need to go through therapy to learn how to speak and what words to use for things. The therapy will take several months.

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