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Silence louder than screaming. We save Mikołaj's ears!

Mikołaj Kwiek
Campaign finished
Campaign goal:

surgery to reconstruct the auricles and open auditory canals in the USA

Campaign organiser: Fundacja Siepomaga
Mikołaj Kwiek, 4 years
Poznań, wielkopolskie
uneducated auricles and overgrown auditory canal
Starts on: 18 March 2019
Ends at: 22 September 2020

Campaign description

There are moments of doubt, sadness, and fear... but I face them head on and keep on fighting with all my strength. However, there are moments like last week when my strength shatters, I just sit down and cry...

My son’s small gesture was all it took to break me down, although I know that with time I’m going to pick myself up... The boy’s daddy was putting on headphones and after a couple of minutes Mikołaj, just like any child would, tried to imitate his dad... He was trying to put headphones into his small ears... Ears which he simply does not have... It really broke me down and it was difficult to recover... Although I know that I’ve done everything I could to change that, this small gesture broke my heart...

Mikołaj Kwiek

I wanted to close my eyes and wake up in two years... Then, my son’s first surgery would have been complete and he would have one ear already...

One month ago our daughter was born - Julia. Before we got pregnant we underwent a multitude of tests to see what risk there was for the same malformation. 1% - that’s what the tests said. Unfortunately, Julia was born with the same malformation, although affecting only one ear. Doctors from the USA and Poland are stunned... “There are a couple of births like that in the world” they said. 

Everyday we are striving to do everything possible to make our children’s lives easier, but it is not enough. We are no longer asking, we are begging for help...

Mikołaj Kwiek

My wife and I have been waiting for him for many months. Is there anything more important for a man than the fact that he’s going to be a father? As the baby is growing inside the mother’s belly, you start to image your moments together. The moments when you’re going to change diapers, see the baby learn to walk, immerse in DIY projects together, or play football. And finally, the day arrives when the baby is born. It is miraculous, wonderful. Tears of joy stream down your face and words choke in your throat. The midwife hands you the baby and with trembling hands you hold it close for the first time. You want to whisper in the baby’s ear how much you love him but it can’t hear you because it has no ears. Not even one...

Bilateral microtia and artesia — that is the name of the congenital deformity with which Mikołaj was born. Simply put, it means that his pinnae are underdeveloped and his ear canals are closed. During middle pregnancy ultrasound screening we were told that something might be wrong with his ears but the reality shocked us. We were afraid, so terribly afraid... What’s going to happen next? What future will he have? Is he going to spend all his life surrounded by silence? How will he function in this world? Will he ever know the beautiful song of the forest in spring?

Mikołaj Kwiek

Mikołaj is afraid to sleep alone at night. As he sleeps with us, we feel that from time to time he wakes up only to check with his little hands if we’re close. His dad’s breathing, his mother’s sweet voice... For a healthy person it is difficult to comprehend the feeling when the world around you is silent. When one sense is missing, the one that tells you about your surroundings.

From the very beginning Mikołaj has been under the care of specialist doctors and we’ve been doing everything in our power to help him develop normally. One month after birth he underwent a BERA test which confirmed severe hypoacusia. We started searching for help around the world and we finally learned about the doctors in the United States. They filled our broken hearts with so much hope. Mikołaj still has a chance to be a healthy boy and to look like other children.

Why the USA, and not Poland? First of all, the method that is used there (MEDPOR) allows for ears after reconstruction to look normal and that first surgery can be performed before the boy turns 4 years old. What is more, during the first surgery an attempt can be made to reconstruct the ear canal. In Poland we were told that we would need to wait for our son be 10 years old. American experts plan for 2 surgeries (one for each ear), whereas in Poland there would be more. In addition, the risk of complications is significantly higher.

During the day Mikołaj uses a special hearing aid and when we talk very loudly, surely some sounds reach him. How much can he hear? What does he hear? We cannot tell... He is too small to “tell” us.  Still, we know that we cannot sit and wait for him to grow up doing nothing. We need to try to give him the best chance possible to develop as normal kids do.

One surgery in the United States costs over PLN 350,000. Two ears combined gives an amount that is horrendous, difficult to imagine. Not an amount we can hope to save ourselves. That is why we are asking for help. Our son’s future and health depends on it.

When Miki grows up, I would love to tell him a wonderful story. A story about people with generous hearts, excellent doctors far far away on the other side of the ocean, who helped him get his lovely ears back. I want him to listen to this story and remember it for the rest of his life. I hope you can be part of this story. I hope that our pleading for help will reach your ears. And from there it will reach your heart...

Szymon — dad

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