2 Calgarians experiencing hearing loss granted gift of hearing

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2 Calgarians experiencing hearing loss granted gift of hearing
It's something people can take for granted until it's gone. Overall, 60% of Canadians reported having a hearing problem but not able to regain hearing loss due to the cost of hearing aids. But that's about to change for two fortunate Calgarians. Jill Croteau reports. – Feb 23, 2024

A couple of Calgarians have been given an invaluable gift worth hearing about.

Since moving here from the Philippines 5 years ago, Alfred Roxas has been working in customer service.

Over time, the 23-year-old has experienced hearing loss. His hearing got progressively worse, to the point his patrons have to repeat their orders every time.

“I can’t hear anything. It sounds like whispers to me,” Roxas said. “I got to learn how to read lips.”

Alfred Roxas walking through Fish Creek Park. Jill Croteau/Global News

After living this way nearly his whole life, he was about to regain one of his powerful senses. Roxas was gifted top of the line hearing aids as part of a campaign at HearingLife.

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“At the beginning, I thought I don’t think I deserve it,” Roxas recalled.

“I was overwhelmed and happy, I cried.

“I was so amazed I can hear better and louder. It changed my life.”

Karen Venables works at HearingLife and helped select the lucky recipients.

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“My heart warmed. I knew from the moment he walked in, he was a gentle soul,” Venables said.

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She said she knew how financially challenging it can be to pay for expensive hearing aids without the privilege of health benefits coverage. Venables said she was grateful to see clients granted such a gift.

“It’s a feeling I don’t know I’ve had before in my life. It was life changing for me,” Venables expressed. “I’ve been through a lot and this was a good thing we did.”

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The devices can be anywhere between $7,000 and $10,000 a pair.

Daniella Antelo is the second recipient of the hearing aids. She is a single mom who struggled to hear her children after being diagnosed with a progressive hearing impairment.

Daniella Antelo reading her book to her daughter. Jill Croteau/Global News

“I worked in construction and was getting audiology tests, and I was told I have significant hearing loss and it kept getting worse,” she said.

Antelo was chosen by her audiologist, who works at HearingLife, to get the hearing aids.

“She saw something in me and we had a kinship. She knew I was struggling with accepting the hearing loss and the fact I needed help,” Antelo said.

Antelo and her HearingLife audiologist, Brandy. Global News

She said without scientific intervention and a pair at no charge, she would have lived with hearing problems.

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“I was very grateful for the gift I got and to be selected for a free pair, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it,” Antelo said.

“She can hear her baby cry and her little boy talk. Alfred can talk to his wife and go to work and hear his customers. It’s amazing,” Venables said.

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