To Whom It May Concern:
Since April 2015, my husband has been using hearing aids and having difficulty at work not being able to hear. He had hearing aids but they were worn out after 15 years and 4 months. We were super gluing them together at this point. He was supposed to receive another pair through the state; with all the cuts in programs they could not help him. They gave Dan, my husband, a list to call for assistance. We called them and every last one of them said NO. Some told me, no joke, that because he was employed he could not receive help. If he became unemployed he could, and probably would, receive help. That is the craziest thing I have ever heard. Basically they wanted him to quit his job to get help.
This man has worked in his profession for the past 23 ½ years, with a family to support and they wanted him to give up his job. Wow. That wasn’t going to happen. Dan nor I, have taken public assistance. That is for those who cannot work and it would have been wrong on many levels. So we decided to start calling hearing aid companies. Let me tell you, after going through the yellow and white pages and 8 months of phone calls, trying to get help for Daniel left us with 93 ‘NO’s. I just about could not take it anymore!
What put Dan and I into this situation of not being able to pay for hearing aids on our own was that he lost his job 3 times in one year, one owner sold his business without warning and his job went to a relative of the new owner. Second job was with a friend who did not pay him and his checks came late every pay day or not at all. Third the guy wrote hot checks in the amount of $9,800.00. It ruined our 3-star credit rating and we couldn’t even get a loan for a roll of toilet paper now. Dan finally found another job but it does not provide health insurance. We are barely making it. But we have food on the table and a roof over our heads and no public assistance. I am grateful for the man of humility that I am married to. We will have to pay a fine for not having Obamacare. We can’t afford it.
Let me tell you about the “Angel on my shoulder”
I sat here in tears praying for help and asking the Father to help me, find me a way to help my husband so he wouldn’t lose his job. Well he answered my prayers.
On my 94th call a lady named Barbara answered the phone. I told her what I been through and how everyone here in Florida, and in fact all over, wouldn’t help. She just sat there and listened while I wound down from near hysteria and tears explaining what I had been through and how many calls I had made.
She was calm and said to me: “I will help you.” I couldn’t believe what she said and asked her to repeat what she just said. She said again, “I will help you.” My heart started to beat fast and, for the first time in 8 months, I felt relieved. Dan was going to get hearing aids. She sent me the application and walked me through what I needed to do. I did as she asked step by step. Dan had to go through hearing tests and approval from the board but now Dan has hearing aids. Amazing!!!!!!!
Dan told me it was frustrating and depressing not to be able to hear those around him. He was deeply sad because he could no longer hear our daughter’s voice or mine. He was drawing into himself. To watch him socialize and sit and talk with his daughter laughing and smiling is something that cannot be put in words. Before he did not socialize with either of us much, he got mad when he thought you said something and we hadn’t. He distanced himself from most family gatherings, it was heartbreaking.
Dan became angry at fighting so hard to keep his job and not hearing those around him. He became a master at reading lips. People just don’t get what it is like for those who can’t hear, at no fault of their own. If anyone you know has a hearing problem, help them.
Ms. Barbara said to me “I am going to be your angel”. What an understatement that was. She became a breath of fresh air. She told me that the reason no one would say yes, is because they have to act on the yes, it’s easier to say no. Barbara is so right on that statement. Her Boss Mitch is an amazing man, he is not only blind and deaf but you would never even know it. I told her once I felt like a loser because I am disabled with FM. The doctors had me stop working and I hate it. Barbara and Mitch both told me, I am not a loser but an advocate for my family. That was the first moment in a year I felt any worth at all. The people here have made me feel less that human.
Barbara is more than an angel on my shoulder, she and Mitch have found a dear place in my heart each day. They are the sanity that gifted me the ability to give my husband the gift of hearing for Christmas. What a precious gift to give. But they gave me another gift, of believing in myself again. That cannot be wrapped in any fancy paper. But it is wrapped in love and deep respect for me and Dan as people.
Barbara gave me a website to meet and see Mitch online: http://mitchspeaks.com. Reading about him and seeing what he does. He has the ability to see without eyes and hear without hearing. That is a gift from above in this gentle man who wants everyone to have an equal chance to be able to go as far as a person can go.
Both Mitch and Barbara are champions for others. I am more than blessed by their love and respect and help. I have Barbara on one shoulder saying yes you can and Mitch on the other shoulder giving me hope.
This is how I met the most amazing woman in my life December 3, 2015. 94 calls and I will always remember her first words, “I will help you!” She lived up to those words a thousand percent. She is a humble person with grace. Neither one of these two people have ever asked for anything in return. The organization that they run should be respected and supported.
Below please find some pictures of Dan: