At fifty years old, Thato’s hearing had slowly diminished a little more each year, until he could hear almost nothing at all anymore. When he learned that Mercy Air was bringing a team of audiologists to his village, he eagerly hoped that they might be able to help him as well.
When it was finally his turn, Thato sat down at the examination table and waited patiently as the doctor looked in his ear. Jade, an audiologist from Mercy Air partner Kind2Hearing, leaned towards Thato with his otoscope to look inside Thato’s ear. Even with the bright light, Jade could see nothing in Thato’s ear. Jade started with his first task: removing the buildup of wax in Thato’s ears so that he could see what had caused Thato’s hearing loss and if hearing aids would be able to help him.
Little by little, Jade removed small chunks of wax from Thato’s ear and tried to see something inside. Again, Jade saw nothing there but more wax, so he continued removing wax. Nearly an hour later, suddenly, Thato looked up in excited surprise, and exclaimed, “I can feel air in my ear! I can hear!”
After a few more rounds of wax removal, Jade had fully restored Thato’s hearing, and Thato joyously went home reveling in all of the new sounds that he had not heard so clearly for many years!
Mercy Air and Kind2Hearing have provided hearing aids to numerous villagers in the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa, but fortunately, Thato’s hearing was restored simply by removing a buildup of ear wax!