I take a lot of things for granted every day.  I have my health, I am able to see my kids’ smiles, hear my kids’ voices, run with my kids through the snow.  As a mother of two, one of the biggest things I have taken for granted over the past 6 years is being able to be there for my children.  I can hear them cry when they fall and scrape their knees, I can hear when they are stuck playing hide-n-seek in the closet, and I can hear them when they say, “I love you”.  My whole aspect was recently changed when I met a young, 26-year-old mother of two, with a third on the way, whom has never heard her children.  She has never heard her baby cry and never heard her child say “I love you, mommy”.  All the things I never have a second thought about.

I heard about this young girl, Kenya, through an email her boss had sent out, asking for donations for hearing aids for this young mother.  Kenya has no insurance, works part-time, and her husband works in law enforcement and does not make much money.  They have 4 and 9-year-old sons at home, whom also have hearing loss.  Kenya has an amazing soul and volunteers at her local animal shelter in her spare time.  Their home is also a local drop-off site for abandon animals.  Kenya shared that at one point, she had 40 puppies in her home while she sought out shelters to take them

Skip forward, December 14th, 2016, Centers for Hearing Care changed young Kenya’s life forever.  Kenya made the 11 hour trip, through snow, with her husband, mother-in-law, and 4-year old son to Ohio to join Centers for Hearing Care at our annual Hearing for the Holidays mission.  At about 9:30am, Kenya was fit with her first ever pair of hearing aids.  She sat in silence as Dr. Amanda Grove Kenney and Dr. Lorie D’Elia fit the hearing aids and adjusted their volume until Kenya agreed that she could hear us talking to her.  The true test was to bring over her 4-year old son, Carson, to see if she could hear him.

For the last 9 years, between her 2 sons, she has only read their lips and heard very, very little of what they said.  Carson came over and said, “Mommy, can you hear me?” and we knew Kenya heard him, for the first time, when she burst into tears at the sound of his voice.  Kenya could finally hear her son.

She also knew she would finally be able to hear her baby and that she wouldn’t have to sleep with the baby on her chest just to know when she was awake.  Her whole life was changed in a matter of minutes with something that many of us take for granted, the ability to hear.  Not only will this affect her life, but the life of all 3 of her children, her husband, and her family.  She will not need to rely on the help of others to hear the baby, she will not need to rely on reading lips to communicate with her sons, and as her husband joked, she will now just be ignoring him over not hearing him.  And my life was changed as I watched this young mother, whom I developed such a connection with, thrive while being able to hear everyone around her for the first time.

With our local Hearing for the Holiday Hearing Mission around the corner I thought what perfect timing to reminisce on such a special story from last year.

Contact us at 330-779-8090, our mission line, to learn more about how you can help people like Kenya or how you can become a volunteer at this years local mission.

Crystal Lewis

Patient Care Coordinator

and Volunteer