New development in Louis Otieno’s deaf condition

"I just woke up one morning and I couldn't hear my daughter speak anymore."

The journalist is set to hold a major fundraiser in two weeks’ time at the Kempinski Hotel, in Nairobi to raise Sh4 million for the specialised operation.

Upon request by Louis, Kenyans have already donated Sh1.73 million to the former celebrated TV personality.

A poster advertising the May 18 fundraising dinner thanked Kenyans for their donations stating; “It is now time for a final effort to meet the required target of Sh4 million.”

During a recent TV interview, Otieno narrated how he lost his sense of hearing after months of being hospitalized for a damaged pancreas. He now has to depend on lip reading and written notes.

“One morning I wake up and I can’t hear the nurse just like that. I was in shock. How do you wake up one morning and your world is gone? I lost the world in one single day…I ended up with a hearing aid but what it did, I opened up the noise around me but I could not discern speech. I literally live in a cave I have no idea what’s going on in the world.”

The journalist has also lost his sense of gravity.

“I immediately went into a very bad depression. I just sunk my spirit sank, everything sank. All of a sudden I cannot walk a straight line, very basic things like standing in the shower became a risk. You’ve got to put a stool in there. Why am I falling down in the house? I have a scar,” he said.

His doctors have told him that he needs electronic implants inserted in his cochlear, the inner part of the ear responsible for detecting sound.

“One of the things I hope for once I get the implants is get my body balance back and I can get out and I can go back and help and work,” he said.

“My daughter comes from school I can’t hear my daughter every day. It’s painful.”

Louis hearing can be regained by having a procedure undertaken in India called Cochlear implant where hearing aids are surgically implanted to amplify sounds so they may be detected by damaged ears.

Cochlear implants bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Signals generated by the implant are sent by way of the auditory nerve to the brain, which recognizes the signals as sound.

For the past four years Louis’s health has not been so good. Louis’s pictures while at Mater Hospital surfaced online some time back and it came as a shocker to many since not many knew what was happening. During that particular time, Louis was battling with alcoholism.

Early March, a Kenyans Surgeon, Prof Macharia Muthure came to the rescue of Louis Otieno with the efforts trying to solve his hearing Problem. Prof Machari who is a specialist in Ear Nose and Throat treatment offered to perform surgery on Louis Otieno.

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