Hearing management

Updated 07 December 2017

Pitbull saves deaf boy from burning home

Yesterday, a two year old pitbull named Ace saved the day by rescuing his owner, a deaf boy from inside their burning home.

On the afternoon of the 16th of July, a fire broke out in an Indianapolis home. Inside, twelve year old Nick Lamb lay sleeping, unaware of the impending danger. 

Nick, who was born deaf, has cochlear implants but had taken his hearing aids out before he took a nap.  Because of this he was unable to hear the smoke alarm going off and would have remained unaware of the fire blazing within his home.

House covered in smoke

Luckily for Nick, his two-year old pitbull, Ace, came to his rescue by continuing to lick his face until he got up. Nick originally thought Ace was just looking to go outside but realised something more serious was happening when Ace wouldn’t leave him alone.

When Nick eventually got up, he realised the entire house was covered in smoke. He quickly ran out to the back yard, covering his mouth and nose with a t-shirt. 

"I woke up and the house was covered with smoke and we ran out in the backyard,” said Nick.

He was given a thorough examination by medics on the scene and released without hospitalisation.


Read: Gene therapy may boost the power of cochlear implants

Nick was the only one at home at the time of the incident. His mother, Lindsay Bernard, had only recently decided that he was old enough to stay at home alone. She described the incident as “amazing”, stating that her son would almost certainly not have woken up if it weren’t for Ace.

After searching the house extensively, firemen emerged with the family cat, Pixie, who was unaffected by the blaze.

It is suspected that the fire originated in the garage and was caused by an electrical issue. The house was completely destroyed by the flames.

Read more:

New device gives deaf people the power of speech
Hearing loss makes the elderly feel more isolated
Musicians have greater risk of hearing loss

Sources: Buzzfeed, Wthr.com, Daily News


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Hearing Expert

Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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