Ruth Wallace has been given a new lease on life.
The 88-year-old Victoria senior has been given the gift of sound through new hearing aids from the Miracle-Ear Foundation, a U.S.-based company that supports people with a limited income and no other resources for hearing aids.
“The foundation did this and it’s just wonderful,” Wallace said.
Prior to receiving the hearing aids, Wallace had been deaf in her left ear since she was a teenager. She realized something was wrong when she was only 14 years old. She was babysitting her sister’s daughter when she knocked over a tri lamp, shattering it on the ground.
Wallace, however, didn’t hear a thing.
“That was the first time I had any knowledge that I was deaf in one ear,” she said, adding simple conversations with friends slowly became more difficult to hear.
Decades later, when Wallace was watching TV with her son who had recently been in a car accident, he noted how high her volume was turned up.
“The extra loud sound affected him and I decided that it was time that I get my hearing in order so that I could listen to the TV at a normal level,” she said, adding she knew for years that she had to get hearing aids, but wasn’t able to afford them.
Lana Binks, a registered hearing instrument practitioner with Miracle-Ear in Victoria, put forward Wallace’s application to the foundation.
“She was really struggling to just hear general conversations in all situations and to enjoy socializing,” Binks said. “(Wallace and her son0 enjoy watching movies together and she would need it so loud that he wasn’t enjoying it because the sound was blaring at him. So just knowing that it could improve a small situation like that we tend to take for granted. She’s back to a world of hearing.”
Now, after three weeks of finally being able to hear out of both ears, Wallace is hearing a lot of things that she didn’t before, such as the beeping of the crosswalk and having a conversation with her friends.
Wallace is one of more than 4,100 recipients in North America to receive hearing aids through the foundation.