Sderot’s first resident’s hearing restored

Meir Turgeman will for the first time be able to hear the Red Alert warning siren against rockets from Gaza.

February 7, 2012 05:27
1 minute read.
Meir Turgeman regains his hearing.

Meir Turgeman 390. (photo credit: Courtesy Kaplan Medical Center)

The ability to hear has been returned to Meir Turgeman, the most veteran resident of Sderot, who said Monday that thanks to the operation he underwent at Kaplan Medical Center, he will for the first time be able to hear the Red Alert warning siren against rockets from Gaza.

Turgeman, who celebrated his 67th birthday the same day, said he had lost his hearing 25 years ago. Only now, after the second part of a complicated operation on his right ear was the sense restored. He took his family to live in the then-new development town in the South in 1955. He continues to work as a “house father” in the comprehensive school in town, even though he has been deaf for a quarter-century. A hearing aid was of no help, he said.

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It was especially alarming for him when a Red Alert siren went off, sending residents for cover, and he was not aware of it. He was also upset when his grandchildren came and he didn’t know they had arrived.

Specialists at the otolaryngology department headed by Dr. Doron Halperin recommended a new titanium implant device placed inside the skull and behind the ear to which a special hearing aid was attached. Surgeon Dr.

Ehud Kantzel performed the operation after learning the technique in Australia and New Zealand. He said the system optimally receives stimuli and transfers them directly to the auditory nerve, thus bypassing his defective middle ear. Three months after the first operation, the implant was accepted by the body, and then the hearing device was attached. He began to hear immediately.

The system was added to the basket of medical technologies, paid for by his health fund, only recently – bringing about a “revolution” in the treatment of many deaf people, the Rehovot team said. They are now trying to restore some hearing to his left ear.

“I hope I won’t need it for that, but now I will be able to run to the shelter when the Red Alert is sounded,” he said, adding that his social life is about to change completely.

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