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Dyriani lives with her grandmother in Quambatook which is 302 kilometres from Melbourne and 60 km from Swan Hill. She is a year 12 student and enjoys math and music and loves spending time playing the piano and is looking forward to completing year 12. Dyriani has one sister and two brothers who live in Melbourne.

Dyriani was diagnosed with ongoing hearing problems from a very young age. Her grandmother, also her carer, said: “they visited numerous specialists and Dyriani has had many surgeries over the years but her ear issues have been very complex, and no one has been able to help until now”. Last year Dr Ryan De Freitas, an RWAV funded ENT outreach specialists saw Dyriani as part of the Healthy Ears program at Mallee District Aboriginal Services in Swan Hill. He then referred her to the Eye and Ear Surgical Support Services program funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and administered by RWAV. Dr Stephen O’Leary operated on her left ear at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital last month.

The surgery was a great success and Dyriani has had no infections in her left ear since the operation. This has helped her to “listen to music and hear clearly in class.” After undergoing surgery, she was able to perform in her school production of Wizard of Oz as Aunty M.

She hopes to feel perfect for her 18th birthday and to play netball and girl’s footy. She has been also been waiting till after the surgery to get her first tattoo of “birds flying free”.

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