“You’re louder already,” Brian Preston said just seconds after a brand-new hearing aid was placed in his ear.
Preston and his wife, Rosemary, were both at HearingLife in Chilliwack on Friday getting fitted for their first ever hearing aids.
The hearing devices were pretty special to the Prestons, not just because they were both able to hear clearly again, but because they were gifted to the couple as part of the Campaign for Better Hearing program by HearingLife Canada.
Brian, 84, and Rosemary, 81, have been married for 60 years and they both suffer from hearing loss.
Clinician Sarah Ploj with HearingLife Canada (Chilliwack location) remembers when they walked into the clinic. They came in for a free hearing test and, straight off the bat, admitted to her that hearing aids were out of their budget.
“They were so honest with me,” Ploj recalled.
So, she nominated them for the Campaign for Better Hearing program and the Prestons were picked.
HearingLife, along with other hearing companies, all donate $4 from every hearing test completed to the Campaign for Better Hearing program. Every year, 100 people receive a free hearing aid or pair of hearing aids through the program.
The Prestons are the first couple to receive a nomination together. They each received a pair of hearing aids with a total value of about $8,000 to $10,000.
“We felt like we had just won a big prize,” Brian said.
Ploj not only nominated the senior couple, but was also fitting them with their devices on Nov. 20.
Once the hearing aid was adjusted to his ears and turned on, Ploj put Brian’s hearing to the test by rubbing her hands up and down her pant legs. He definitely heard that sound.
“Now if I turn off your hearing aids…” she said, and then rubbed her pant legs again.
“Not a thing,” Brian said.
He said the hearing aids felt “weird” at first. Suddenly sounds he never recalled hearing were filling his ears.
“The saliva in one’s mouth makes a noise like I’ve never heard before,” he said. “The difference is phenomenal.”
“We don’t realize how many sounds are out in the world,” Ploj said. “If we have hearing loss and something makes a sound, how are we ever supposed to know that’s something you should hear?”
Now the Prestons can hear all those little sounds they never knew they were missing.