Moultrie boy given healing surgery -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Moultrie boy given healing surgery

Posted: Updated:

June 19, 2008

Valdosta  -  A south Georgia boy lost his hearing in one ear and his family thought there was nothing that could be done.

Now He's one of a handful of people in the area to get an implant anchored into the skull that should allow him to hear things he's for the first time.

Andrew Newton is ten. But he's worn a hearing aid since he was four.  "I'm deaf in my left ear. I can't hear out of it."

"He was very frustrated. He has cross aides and they are bulky. Kids are constantly asking him every day, what's that? And he hated to wear them," says his mom, Sheila.

So he stopped wearing them and his family thought there was nothing more they could do. Until their research led them to a new surgery at Smith Northview Hospital, a Baha hearing implant.

"Supposedly nothing was available. But we found out about this and called Dr. Allen's office," she says.

Dr. Allen agreed to not only do the surgery, but do it for free.

A surgery that will hopefully improve Andrew's hearing.  "We are going to direct the sounds from his non-functioning ear over to his good ear," says Dr. Arthur Allen, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon at Smith Northview.

To that Dr. Allen will drill a hole into Andrew's skull, directly behind his non-functional ear. Then he'll screw an implant into the skull.

Then Andrew will be given a removable sound processor to snap on and off the screw.  "He'll be able to transmit the sound right through the screw directly to the skull. That allows better conduction of sound to the good ear."

Soon, Andrew will finally get his dream.

"I'm excited to be able to hear," Andrew says.

"He just doesn't know what's he's missing right now because he's never heard like we have," Sheila adds.

And hear the world differently for the first time. 

It should take Andrew two months for him to heal from the surgery.