Pro bono is a phrased used to describe professional services that are performed at a reduced or no cost. Pro bono is a shortened phrase for pro bono publico. This phrase means for the good of the public. Desert Valley Audiology was able to participate in a service that was truly for the greater good of the public.
Every so often as an audiologist I get to participate in unique experiences. Today was one of those times.
Several weeks ago a patient’s wife called our office looking for help in obtaining a pair of hearing aids for her husband. We discussed different options, and ultimately decided that the best option was to contact the Starkey Hearing Foundation for assistance. For those who are not aware of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, it is a branch of Starkey Hearing Technologies. Its’ mission is to provide hearing aids for those that cannot afford them. They provide hearing aids to people all over the world and to people right here in Las Vegas.
The patient is a man in his late 30s. Like many people in Las Vegas he has been unemployed or underemployed for the past several years. His hearing loss is severe to profound in both ears and is missing eardrums in both ears. He has had surgery in the past to repair his eardrums. The surgery did not work and he was left with essentially 80 percent hearing loss. His hearing loss is such that he does not hear speech unless the person is basically yelling at him.
Today he was fit with hearing aids. All of our work was done pro-bono. Once the hearing aids were turned on he said “everything is too loud”. For most patients too loud is a problem. With him he felt excited that sounds could actually be too loud. He heard paper moving, his wife’s voice and was anxious to see if he could hear birds chirping.
I am not a person that gets overly excited very often, however with this patient I was really enthusiastic to bring him back into the hearing world. Helen Keller said, “I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” When you cannot hear you cannot communicate with other people and life can become lonely and depressing. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to assist this patient in communication.