Hearing Help For Africa

Subscribe: RSS | Email

Advancing hearing and restoring hope in Africa.

Success Stories

Rosemary Ehi Okeke (50, female) 

I lost my hearing in 2009 as a result of medication. I was sick and hospitalized during the treatment and lost my hearing. I had not been able to use hearing aids as they did not help. I received by implant in Nigeria on 11/6/2023 at Jos University Teaching  Hospital. The implant has been working super well for me. I love it so much and I am grateful to God and the doctors that made it possible for me to hear again.  

Julcit Ndam (22, female) 

In 2011, I was diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss, which is said to be progressive in nature. I started using hearing aids that were recommended by the hospital that same year. Hearing aids were helpful to me, although I had to upgrade to different types as time went on and my hearing got worse. In 2019, my hearing dropped again, so much that the hearing aids were doing little to no help. Hearin became a great challenge for me—I depended heavily on lip reading to understand conversations. I could no longer enjoy social activities and gatherings because hearing was difficult. It made me very depressed. Fortunately for me, in November 2023, I got a cochlear implant from Dr. Green and his team under a program called Hearing Help for Africa. Now life after this surgery has been amazing, my hearing has improved greatly. I don’t have to depend on lip reading to understand coversations, I can now make phone calls and listen to music now. I hear a lot of sounds I never knew existed before, like birds singing, clocks ticking, food chewing.  

Today I stand in a new world able to hear the beautiful world of sound. I’m grateful to Hearing Help for Africa for this transformative experience.  

Stephen Yaukubu Kutchin

For more than 32 years, a mathematics professor in Nigeria had normal hearing. But after three weeks of fever and medication, his hearing became so bad that he could hardly hear a close-range gunshot.

Stephen Yaukubu Kutchin woke up one morning in 2002 with most of his hearing ability gone. A mathematics professor at the University of Jos in Nigeria, Kutchin spent more than five years with limited hearing ability. He frequently asked people to write what they were saying to him and had several uncomfortable encounters with people who did not understand how to interact with a hearing-impaired person. His partial deafness severely limited his ability to teach his classes in a timely matter.

“My social life suffered immensely; I had to stop attending meetings or social gatherings,” Kutchin recalled. “Radio and musical instruments became useless to me. I had to lose many of my friends. Some of them were those who couldn’t write. There was no way for me to communicate directly to those that could not write. Those included the small children. There was no way I could communicate with even sighted people once it was dark. The worst were my students and friends who were blind. I had to keep away from any function that had anything to do with hearing.”

Dr. J. Douglas Green, Jr., who founded Hearing Help for Africa, met Kutchin in 2005 through Dr. Joel Anthis, an American ear, nose and throat physician who was working full-time in a Christian missionary hospital in Jos, Nigeria. Dr. Green brought two cochlear implant systems to Nigeria, fitted Kutchin with an implant, and left him in the care of Dr. Anthis.

“Humanly speaking and going by my income; there was no wisdom for me to even dream of ever having such a surgery,” Kutchin said.

However, the wound did not heal properly and the implant was removed. Back at square one, Kutchin thought it was the end of the road for good. But a year later, Dr. Green again traveled to Nigeria and offered Kutchin the chance to visit Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Insititute in Jacksonville, Fla., and have cochlear implant surgery free of charge. Kutchin gratefully accepted and spent his time in the United States as a guest of Dr. Green and his family during his period of medical assessments, surgery and healing.

Before the implant surgery, Kutchin suffered from tinnitus, a continuous ringing in the ears. It often ruined his days and woke him from his sleep. Now back in Nigeria, Kutchin said both his sound perception and speech perception are remarkable.

“My cochlear implantation system has continued to amaze me,” Kutchin stated. “With the device, my sound perception is more than 100 percent normal. The volume of the speech processor can be regulated so I am able to hear sound as audible as I choose to.”

Dr. Green made Kutchin’s visit to the States memorable and allowed him to become part of his family.

“He did so to celebrate the recovery of my hearing since my family could not be around to celebrate with me this life changing event,” Kutchin remarked. “Dr. Green wishes to do more.”

To read the full report written by Stephen Yaukubu Kutchin, please click here.