It almost cost his parents their house, but Ian (7) finally has his very expensive earpiece: “He can hear something now and then” (Boom)


Seven-year-old Ian Bunneghem from Boom underwent surgery this week in the United States to give him a working right earpiece. “The operation went very well”, says dad Yannick from San Francisco. “At the moment there is still a protective shell left, but Ian says he already hears ‘pop, pop’ in his ear every now and then. So a good sign.”

Bart Rogerman

Friday, March 24, 2023 at 3:58 PM

At the end of last year, the mischievous boy from Boom, who was born without a right ear, struck a chord with many people when his parents uttered a cry for help. Just before Christmas, they posted the message that they were putting their house up for sale to pay for the very expensive operation. After a long search and many investigations, they came across the American professor John Reinisch, a world authority in the field of plastic surgery. Only, the operation would cost 100,000 euros, there is no intervention from the health insurance fund.

READ ALSO. Support campaigns to give Ian (6) a new earphone hardly yield anything: “We can only sell our house”

“We could also have a reconstruction of the earpiece done here in Belgium, but not the ear canal. We are not concerned with aesthetics, but with a working earpiece. Because we notice that Ian’s learning gap is getting bigger and bigger. Not to mention the bullying,” his parents emphasized at the time.

But despite many support actions, the dream seemed to remain unattainable. The parents’ cry for help eventually sparked off a great wave of solidarity. In January, just before Ian’s birthday, they came with the good news that the necessary amount had been raised. (Read more below the photo)

Ian is at the institute where he underwent the procedure.© rr

Last week Ian traveled with daddy Yannick and mommy Ana to the US where he underwent surgery on Tuesday. “The surgery went very well,” says dad Yannick. “She was even done a little faster than the six hours planned. It was also a question of whether or not they would have to insert a prosthesis into the cochlea, but that also turned out not to be necessary.” (Read more below the photo)

Over the earpiece is a protective shell made of a kind of plasticine.© rr

“The hood and the bandage were already removed on Thursday. There is now a protective shell made of a kind of plaster / plasticine over the ear. It can be removed on Monday and then we will be able to see the ear completely for the first time. As far as the sound is concerned, it should gradually get going during the healing process. That can take up to four months, they told us. Ian told us that he already hears ‘pop, pop’ now and then, so that’s a good sign.”

The family will remain in the US until the third week of April for regular checks, normally on April 21 they will return to Belgium. “We would like to thank everyone again for the warm support because without you this would not have been possible.”

READ ALSO. “We are so grateful to everyone”: Yannick and Ana should not sell the house to give Ian (6) a new earpiece

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