Malcolm Simon from New Jersey, USA, was born with 50% hearing loss in one ear and a little less in the other. Growing up in the 1940s and 50s, people with hearing loss were viewed quite differently than they are today. Not a lot of attention was given to hearing problems.
“It was totally ignored in those days,” says Malcolm. “While glasses were common, hearing aids were not. They weren’t acceptable and people would actually laugh at you. I’d say, ‘Listen, a person has to wear glasses if they can’t see, so what’s wrong with a person wearing hearing aids if they can’t hear?’ Nowadays, I think hearing aids are accepted by everybody. People wear stuff in their ears and over their heads for all sorts of reasons, so there’s no longer a stigma about wearing hearing aids.”
Over the years Malcolm wore several different kinds of hearing aids. They’d work for a while but then he’d lose his hearing again. Malcolm had heard about the Baha System but didn’t really investigate it further. It wasn’t until he met with an audiologist that demonstrated the Baha Softband for him, that Malcolm realized how well he could – and should! – hear.
In the video clip below, Malcolm describes the stunning moment:
“She walked around the room talking all the time, and I could hear her – without even turning my head! And that was the moment right there. I mean I started laughing. I should’ve started crying, but I started laughing because I was just so happy to hear.”
Malcolm underwent the surgery, on both sides, and had his bilateral Baha sound processors fitted a few weeks later. Being able to hear clearly again after 80 years in muffled silence has meant a lot to him. For years, he’d stopped going to church because he was afraid he might not hear people talking around him or the minister asking for prayers. Now he feels comfortable in any surroundings. He knows he can hear everyone and everything. He even has to tell his wife to lower her voice, or turn the volume down on the TV!
“I was 80 years old when I finally got smart and got my Baha sound processors. I wish I’d done it years earlier because it’s made such a dramatic difference to my life.”
Read Malcolm’s whole story here.
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