It is hard to comprehend how life would feel if you couldn’t hear the world around you. It is like being a casual observer of the world without the ability to participate fully. Imagine then the joy at being given the gift of hearing for Christmas. It is what happened when one friend got in touch with Aston Hearing to help a very special lady to hear again. This is their story.

Heather was a client of Aston Hearing until she moved away after losing her husband a few years ago. She wanted to try living somewhere completely different, up for the challenge of making new friends. Her hearing loss didn’t prevent her from joining in new activities as she had hearing aids to help her cope.

Heather’s new neighbour, Dot, also had hearing problems and they really struggled to have meaningful conversation together. Dot, had lived with severe hearing loss for 25 years but had never found the support or technology she so needed to engage with the world around her.

The pair quickly became great friends and looked out for each other but due the severity of her hearing loss, Dot found she was excluded from a lot of conversations. This was frustrating for both of them until one evening Heather suggested that Dot tried an old pair of hearing aids that she had tucked away as spares in case of an emergency.  

Although they were not a great fit, the effect was amazing and the pair were able to talk through the whole night sharing many stories with each other. At the end of the evening Dot returned the hearing aids to Heather and went back to a world of silence.

Heather had read about our Audiologist Paula joining the Starkey Foundation on a mission to Armenia, where they fitted over 1000 hearing aids. Heather asked if we could help Dot in a similar way. As Dot was not local, we initially planned to send a pair of pre-programmed hearing aids but we quickly decided against this and paid her a visit instead.

On arrival the first task was to complete a hearing test for Dot and then to programme hearing aids supplied by Aston Hearing. It was decided to fit on the ear devices which have a small wire and soft dome that sits in the ear and can be easily repaired should the need arise. The new aids were fitted and, with her friend by her side, we launched the count down. Ten seconds later the hearing aids were switched on and the moment was met with cries of joy by Dot and everyone else in the room. Dot had moved from 25 years of silence to a world of lively sounds and laughter. Her hearing adventure had begun.

 Dot described how she had coped without hearing for so long. One of the sounds she missed the most was the rush of the ocean waves as they broke onto the shore. As she was living not far from a beach it was the obvious place for her to try out her newly fitted aids. When she proudly announced she could hear the sea, for the first time since losing her hearing, she said it was “like being born again”. Such a special moment for everyone.

Hearing technology has enabled Dot to rejoin the hearing world and now she and 

 Heather are looking forward to a Christmas together, full of new sounds and experiences.