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National Volunteer Organization Helps Children Hear | Guatemala Alejandra was born in northern Guatemala, just one hour from the famous Mayan ruins of Tikal. She was the first daughter born to a poor family. Her father made only five dollars a day working as a delivery driver for a local lumber mill while her mother worked as an aid at a local elementary school. Alejandra’s family soon realized that their baby had a problem. She didn’t cry when the loud sound of a backfiring bus sounded in the night or wake up from noisy firecrackers during festivals in the village. Alejandra’s parents were very concerned. They saved what they could for months to pay for the 15-hour bus ride into Guatemala City with Alejandra, now a two year old, in hopes to find out what was wrong with their precious little one. They saw an ear specialist who tested young Alejandra. The results confirmed their worst fear. Alejandra was deaf. She would never learn to talk or be able to go to school, they were told. Heartbroken, Alejandra’s parents returned to their village to do the best they could to teach her to communicate. Several years later, Alejandra’s aunt heard a radio announcement. American doctors were coming to help children with ear and hearing problems. Perhaps they could help Alejandra.They had to go see if anything could be done. When Alejandra’s parents arrived at the clinic on the appointed day, they were amazed to see over a hundred families with children already waiting in line to be seen. They were fearful that

The Hearing and Balance Lab, PC Call us: 425-341-4113

Alejandra would not be able to receive care. They joined the line and waited all day for their turn. Finally, Alejandra was next in line. After a medical examination, Alejandra had a hearing evaluation. The audiologist happily told her parents that, although Alejandra had a severe hearing loss, she could be helped with hearing aids. She was fit with a hearing aid that same day. At seven years of age, Alejandra heard her mother’s voice for the very first time. Alejandra was fitted with her first hearing aid by a group of medical professionals from Healing the Children in Seattle, Washington. She now wears two hearing aids and has learned to understand some speech sounds to augment the sign language that she has been taught. She receives speech and language stimulation services in her own community. Every six months she has follow up care with an audiology technician who has been trained and is supported by Healing the Children. Each year, when the audiologists return to Guatemala, Alejandra is there patiently waiting in line to see them again. And her story is not unique. Alejandra is one of many of Guatemala’s children who now have a chance to go to school and to hear their family call them by name. Audiologists with Healing the Children have been working in Guatemala for the last seven years. They serve in seven different towns and villages in Guatemala and have fit over 1200 children with hearing aids. The otolaryngology surgical teams have provided hundreds of ear, nose and throat surgeries in the Capitol, as well as in remote locations in Guatemala. Healing the Children provides training, equipment and supplies to personnel in three locations in Guatemala for follow up care for the children who have been helped. Guatemalan audio The Hearing and Balance Lab, PC Call us: 425-341-4113

technicians now travel to local schools and provide hearing screening to identify children in need of care in their local communities. Future plans for Healing the Children include advanced training workshops for deaf educators and programming services for children that have cochlear implants who can’t travel to Guatemala City for care. The organization’s ultimate goal in Guatemala is to work themselves out of a job so that they can take their teams to different countries where others like Alejandras are waiting to be helped. If you’d like to help this great organization to continue their mission in Guatemala and make sure that others like Alejandra receive the gift of hearing, please visit the Healing the Children website at

Call Today 425-341-4113 For more information about Hearing Loss , or to see our other videos, please visit our YouTube.

The Hearing and Balance Lab, PC Call us: 425-341-4113

National Volunteer Organization Helps Children Hear Healing the Children is a national organization that uses volunteer medical providers to help children i...

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