“The drum beat for Yousef Emad Dakho begins in the River Jordan”

ams-yousif-emad-dakho.JPGBy: Helen Talia, Chicago
March 2010
Yousef Emad Dakho is a three and one half year-old child from Iraq whose family recently became refugees in neighboring Jordan, like many other Iraqi families, hoping to re-establish home away from home.

An only child to his family, Yousef fell ill to an early childhood disease that left his hearing impaired, therefore never developing the ability to speak. His only hope to ever developing “normally” was through a cochlear transplant surgery for a price tag of $28,000, a surgery that his family could never afford, not even on an engineer’s salary back home in Iraq, not even after the family had sold all their personal possessions.

Then the patient was referred to the Assyrian Medical Society by Reverend Yousif Hashweh of the Alliance Church of Amman, Jordan, whose congregation had raised a substantial amount of donations towards the child’s surgery treatments, yet still more was need. Meanwhile, the Assyrian Medical Society had previously committed to twenty-four medical cases, and thus it could only donate a small portion of Yousef’s medical expenses.

But despite its limited resources, the society proceeded to intervene on the child’s behalf by recommending a specialist to review his case (medical reports), where it was determined that a surgery was necessary before the age of five in order for it to be effective, due to sound signal stimulation.

Medical Director of the Assyrian Medical Society Dr. Samir Johna contacted a few companies that manufacture the transplant device and tried to get it at a discounted rate, where the best rate was found in Jordan, at a cost of $20,000, in addition to other fees for post-surgery speech therapy and rehabilitation.

Finally, the surgery for young Yousef was secured, as the Thomas Deierlein Foundation committed to 50% of the total cost, while the Medical Relief Project of the Assyrian Medical Society approved an additional 12.5%.

The surgery has been completed in Amman, Jordan, and the child has made the expected recovery. Next, he will be undergoing speech therapy to complete his rehabilitation.

Acknowledgements ~ Thomas Deierlein of the Thomas Deierlein Foundation in New York and Reverend Yousif Hashweh and his congregation at the Church of Alliance in Amman, Jordan.

To learn how you can help, visit www.assyrianmedical.org