Last month news broke that former KTN news anchor Louis Otieno was in dire need of funds to help him get a surgery that would restore his hearing.
Louis lost his hearing after he developed complications from pancreatitis and was seeking funds for delicate surgery in his inner ear and a cochlear implant so he can hear once again.
Macharia Muthure, a renowned Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist, has offered to perform the surgery locally and save the former TV personality the trouble of travelling abroad for the procedure.
The doctor has however warned that the procedure would still be expensive locally. “We haven’t done as many patients as we would have wanted, but that’s mainly because of the cost barrier,” said Muthure.
Otieno has severe hearing loss in both ears. He has previously made three attempts to use different types of hearing aids but none has worked for him, leaving only the option of the cochlear implant.
The specialist says he has already evaluated Otieno and explained the journey to regaining his hearing.
“A cochlear implant is a journey. The cochlear team – comprising the ENT surgeon, the audiologist and the speech therapist – will meet with him. All of us will assess him and prepare him for the next stage,” explained Dr Muthure.
The surgery will see him in hospitalised for about four days, followed by a four-week wait for a ‘switch on.’
“During switch-on, the external part of the implant is attached and the implant can now start working. You don’t start hearing immediately after the surgery,” Muthure added
After the ‘switch-on’, Otieno will be taught how to hear using the implant.
“This is a process that is like reminding him what speech sounds like so that he is able to converse once again. This entire process could take at least one year,” he explained.