Three Hearing Gifts

December 22, 2014

In the spirit of the giving season, we have three touching stories that reveal just how life-changing hearing aids can be.

We all know that hearing loss can be debilitating, but unfortunately, the extent to which it affects one’s life is sometimes underestimated. Take Chase Morley, a 26-year-old homeless man from Indiana who is legally deaf. Without the help of hearing aids, Chase struggled to find and keep a job, since most of his occupations required his hearing, and many employers were less than understanding about his situation. However, this year, Chase was given a fresh start: he was selected for the Whisper Hearing Center’s Hear for the Holidays campaign, which gives free hearing aids to several lucky winners. Chase is thrilled; now that he can hear, he says he can “get a job again and restart my life.”

A mother in California, Mariah, had a similarly difficult time with her hearing loss, which occurred later in her life. It served as a roadblock not only in her professional life but also her personal life; a mother of six, Mariah was unable to hear her youngest son cry. A baby communicates his or her needs by crying, so you can imagine the frustration and anxiety that a parent would feel when unable to hear those wails. Thanks to the Sacramento-based Avalon Hearing Aid Center, Mariah now has hearing aids.

And a 3-month-old baby, too, has had his life changed for the better with hearing aids for himself – Colin Whitehead of Los Angeles was fitted with hearing aids to help him combat the Stickler syndrome induced hearing loss. His mother experienced an emotional moment similar to Mariah’s when her son was able to hear her soothing voice for the first time. You can see the moment unfold here, where Colin stops crying and looks at his mother in surprise when she speaks to him. Both mother and child can now bond at an even deeper level with this gift.

Betty Kemp, co-owner of Avalon Hearing Aid Centers, says that hearing aids help people become “reconnected to life,” and “not only do you hear better, but you get hope back.”

Many take for granted the joys of being able to hear, whether these come from the sounds of a baby crying, a friend laughing, or your favorite song. But for those with hearing loss, the ability to hear more clearly is an incredible gift.
Wishing you all a memorable, love-filled holiday season.

Beth S. Levine M.S., CCC-A, F-AAA owner and licensed audiologist, is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. She is licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Audiology, and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

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