KUALA LUMPUR: Taufik, the deaf and mute Lombok hero, is set to end 12 years of suffering after a Malaysian ear specialist offered to treat the disabled Indonesian.
Taufik ( many Indonesians only have one name) was hailed a hero for rescuing a group of Malaysian tourists during the recent 5.8 magnitude earthquake that jolted Lombok in Indonesia.
Touched by Taufik’s plight, Prof Datuk Dr Lokman Saim, an ear surgeon (otolaryngologist) at a private hospital here, has come forward to help the lad.
“My friend told me of Taufik’s disability after reading of his plight in the newspaper. After looking at a photograph of Taufik, who does not have earlobes, I knew that was my speciality.
“I also contacted Malaysia’s Global Peace Mission (GPM) to inform them that I am prepared to treat Taufik because I learned that the non-governmental organisation is looking to raise funds to help Taufik,“ he told Bernama News Channel (Astro Channel 502) here today.
Lokman said he received the preliminary health screening report conducted on Taufik by a doctor at the South East Nusa Province General Hospital yesterday.
“After reviewing the report, I find there is a huge possibility that Taufik does not have normal earlobes, no holes in his ears but, from the CT scan that was carried out, has cochlea which is the part of the inner ear involved in hearing. However, I will conduct another clinical test.
“There are two procedures that can be done, that is normal surgery to make a hole or to fix an implant known as ‘Bone Conduction Hearing Implant’ (Baha), which is a device fixed on the back of the earlobe to increase the patient’s hearing,“ he said.
Lokman said he would leave for Lombok on Thursday and meet Taufik to carry out final screening to ensure the best procedure for treatment.
According to him, once Taufik is able to hear, follow-up treatments, like speech therapy, would be provided to enable both his ears to function properly.
Bernama News Channel, which has been following the #peduligempalombok humanitarian mission, had reported about Taufik, who was hailed a little hero by GPM for rescuing six Malaysians at the Tiu Kelep waterfall in Senaru, Lombok when the earthquake struck on March 17.
Two Malaysians — Sin Chew Daily deputy executive editor-in-chief Tai Siew Kim and another woman Lim Sai Wah — were killed in the quake. — Bernama