The Difference Hearing Can Make – Caleb Barrett

One of our Hearing Clinic patients talked to us about his experience with hearing loss. As a former coal miner and Type 2 diabetic his hearing has been on the decline for 7 or 8 years. His last Dr. visit confirmed 75% hearing loss. The impact this has had on his daily life has been profound. Not having the resources to correct his hearing, he has tried to adapt to this limitation. Today he hopes to change that.
Mr. Barrett credits his neighbors with sharing the work Red Bird Mission and Hear the World are doing to change the world for one patient at a time. So he did reach out to the mission to check in on the possible resources that may be available to him.
Angela Hubbard, Community Health Nurse, works hard to organize humanitarian teams to provide hearing clinics to offer screenings, fits, rechecks, and repairs. Because of partnerships with Audiology Teams like the University of Cincinnati, funding from Hear the World Foundation, and private donations, the time had come to be able to assist Caleb with hearing aids.
After about a 30 minute wait our Caleb was tested and then fitted for his first hearing aids. With a grin on his face he completed the training for the aids learning how to care for the devices and optimize their performance. With a bag of supplies and instructions he was ready to leave and test out his new ‘ears’. When asked how he would use them he had a list of ideas.
• One of the first things he thought he would be able to do would be attending Grow Appalachia meetings and hear the information given. This will maximize his access to fresh organic food.
• Talking on the telephone will be possible now. This will allow him to keep up with his 12 grandchildren easier.
• Socializing in groups will be possible instead of only speaking to one person while facing them.
Caleb left the Clinic excited to try out his hearing. He stated he was thankful for Red Bird Mission for giving him back the ability to interact with his family and friends again. He thanked the volunteers and Angela as he left.

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