Doctors say that a three-year-old Iraqi boy is on the road to getting his hearing back after undergoing a successful surgery at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.On New Year’s Eve, young Mustafa Ghazwan was flown into San Francisco to receive treatment for his hearing loss after a U.S. missile struck near his home over a year ago.
In front of a large group of reporters, Ghazwan squirmed and sat uncomfortably as he wore a large bandage over his right ear where doctors had inserted a cochlear implant.
Now the next step is the boy’s rehabilitation which is expected to take several months to a year.
“Essentially what’s going to happen now [is] he’s going to start hearing again and then he’s going to have to relearn how to understand speech, he’s going to have to relearn a whole new language if you want to think of it that way,” said Dr. Lawrence Lustig, director of the UCSF Douglas Grant Cochlear Implant Center.
Mustafa was brought to the United States by the group No More Victims, a non profit that works to obtain sponsorship for war-injured Iraqi children.
“Mustafa’s the tenth war-injured Iraqi child that we’ve brought to the United States for medical care and he was hurt in a U.S. air strike, so many of us feel it’s really our responsibility to do this [and] to help children like him,” said Cole Miller, director and founder of No More Victims.
Through a translator, Mustafa’s father said that he was grateful to the doctors and volunteers that have helped his son. He also said he can’t wait to hear Mustafa call him papa again.