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.
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
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
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
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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