Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Sad news....

We just heard that the surgeon that operated on Lotte - Dr. Sten Harris - has died. He died on the 8th of may, after being sick for some time. (See here.)
That we only now heard about it shows how little contact we have with that part of the "system".

When we met him, he was the person that would make it possible for Lotte to hear. We had many conversations with him about how a CI works, the procedure, and he was the one that told us that we were the first in Norway to be offered bilateral CI for Lotte, in 1 operation. We knew he had fought hard to get this the standard in Norway. We couldn't believe our ears. A wonderful gift.
Lotte's mum wrote a poem for him on the morning before the operation, and we remember how the situation made him a little uncomfortable. As if there was even more responsibility on his shoulders. (The poem is elsewhere in the blog... here.)

So, even though we haven't had contact with him since Lotte was dismissed from the "Rikshospitalet" in Oslo, hearing about his death really struck us. Why would this be, since we didn't have any contact? We didn't know that when budget-cuts were done in the Rikshospital he resigned out of protest. We didn't know he was sick. It seemed that our connection stopped after Lottte was operated.
Perhaps it is such a shock because he is such an important part of Lotte's life. Of Lotte's current situation. The personification of one of Lotte's milestones.
Of course there are many other surgeons that could have done this, but in Lotte's case, it was Sten Harris. He made it all possible for Lotte, and for us.

And perhaps the poem says it all...

Take this child

Give her wings
to hear
the sound of my smile

Give her wings
to hear
the radiance of my eyes

Never the same again
after today
with an exceptional gift

To hear light
To see sound
gives wings to the soul

(To Dr. Sten Harris, Lotte's Mum, October 4th, 2004 )


Karen said...

So sorry to hear that. I'm sure you can take comfort in knowing that he knew how much you appreciated his skill.

tammy said...

I am somewhat new to this journey, but can relate, somewhat to this. My son doesn't have cochlear implants yet, but I know who I want to implant them. Yet, I also know it is the people after the implants, including us as his family, who have to work very hard to get our baby to speak and hear. But still, I am adament about this surgeon being a part of our life. And it looks like he will. It means something ... it means a lot ... it means the world that this is the one person that will give my child the ability to hear. After that, it's up to me and a big support team. I'm sorry to hear about this loss. It would strike me weird too.

BTW - I love your blog and Lotte is just such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing!

(Some) Milestones

  • 2013-08: Grade 6
  • 2012-08: Grade 5
  • 2011-08: Grade 4
  • 2011-03: BTE's on the ear
  • 2010-08: Grade 3
  • 2009-08: Grade 2
  • 2008-08: Mainstream School (6y. old)
  • 2006-10: All-hearing Kindergarten (4y. old)
  • 2004-11-22: CI activated (27 m. old)
  • 2004-10-04: Bi-lateral CI (26 m. old)
  • 2003-08: Deaf/HOH/CI Pre-school/"DEAF" Kindergarten (12m. old)
  • 2003-07: HA's fitted (11 m. old)
  • 2003-06: Diagnosed deaf. Start sign-language (10m. old)
  • 2002-11: Suspicion loss of hearing (4 m. old)
  • 2002-08: Born - A fierce LION
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