When 9-year-old Luiz Gustavo da Silva’s surgical hearing implant stopped working in last month, he was left facing weeks of uncertainty because his family couldn’t afford the repair bill of £1,630. The young boy was heartbroken from feeling left out and often cried from frustrations of missing out of conversations both at home and at school.
The boy’s plight touched the hearts of scores of residents in his home town, Bueno Brandão. Hundreds rallied to the child’s cause when a teacher, Caleny Augusta de Rosa, suggested holding a raffle with an ox, worth around £220 donated by the family as the top prize.
Ms de Rosa said, “Once people heard about Luiz Gustavo’s difficulties, many residents who had never met him, got behind the campaign. We printed 1,000 tickets and sold each one for £2.20. Within 15 days we had raised more than enough to fix the device.”
Athais, the boy’s mom said, “The response was amazing. We were shocked by how many people supported our son and gave so generously.”
To show their appreciation, the Luiz’s dad, Juliano, recorded the moment on 19 March when he refitted the implement to his anxious son’s left ear and switched it on. At first the device didn’t work. “I adjusted it and the instant Luiz Gustavo heard my voice was priceless,” recalled Mr da Silva, an office administrator who recently released the footage.
“It still brings tears to my eyes when I look back on how he jumped with surprised joy and gave the thumbs up. That moment reminds me just how isolated he is when he cannot hear.”He added.