Sask. family turns to fundraising for hearing aids for 9-year-old girl
“I don’t really like that I can’t hear very well,” Gracie Prang explains.
Prang, 9, has always had hearing problems and has been to different ear specialists and underwent multiple surgeries to manage ear fluid.
It wasn’t until August that it was discovered she had fluctuating hearing loss.
The solution is adhesive bone conduction hearing aids called Adhear, with a price tag of $6,400.
The Asquith, Sask., family has been fundraising through GoFundMe and has also planned a steak night, in an effort to raise money for the hearing aids, and other required equipment.
“I don’t know how anybody can expect a child to learn and develop to be successful if their whole childhood, they couldn’t hear,” said Stephanie Schneck, Gracie’s mom.
In Saskatchewan, the cost of hearing aids is the responsibility of the individual, although there is coverage for eligible low-income residents.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health said it is “working with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to better understand the Adhear System and what may be possible.”
Surgically implanted devices such as cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing aids are currently covered by the Ministry of Health through the SHA.
Karen Sharpe, an audiologist with Thrive Hearing Solutions, has been working with Prang.
“I think a really simple explanation is it’s a little bit like hearing underwater on a bad day, some days she could hear close to normal,” Sharpe explained.
“[The Adhear] takes the fluctuation right out of the picture, and allows stimulation directly of the hearing nerve, the cochlear.”
Schneck said her family did not qualify for any provincial coverage for the hearing aids.
“To know now that we have a solution and it’s that far out of grasp, it’s really disheartening because we all want what’s best for our kids. When you’re in a financial position where you can’t do, what do you do?” Schneck said.
“The support and stuff that’s pouring in is amazing, but it’s been disappointing that we had to do this.”
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