Hearing is essential. It is a gift that makes people engage and maintain relationships and connections.
For a 14-year-old girl who was diagnosed to have a profound hearing loss, her personal and future work life is at stake. Her condition may have a substantial impact on her overall quality of life.
Angel May H. Labsan, a resident of Barangay Urbiztondo, in the surfing town of San Juan, La Union, has been deaf since birth and could not speak audibly. She only uses sign language to communicate. She is the elder of two siblings.
According to her mother, Myra, she discovered her condition when she took her to a specialist.
“Napansin ko po na hindi parang hindi siya nakakarinig sa tuwing kinakausap ko po siya at pinapatahan kapag ummiyak, kaya dinala napo namin sya sa doktor,” she shared.
Upon learning that her eldest has been diagnosed with hearing impairment, as a mother, Myra wanted to pursue treatment for her eldest, but she was unable to purchase one, unfortunately.
She and her husband make their living as surfing instructors, earning between Php3,000 and Php4,000 per month in the off-season and up to Php12,000 during the peak surfing season or when waves swell from October to December.
But good Samaritans exist.
Fredel P. Bentayo, a hearing care professional and audiometrist, was invited to conduct an onsite hearing assessment in La Union. After checking on Angel, he found out that Angel’s hearing loss is still possible to treat with the use of high-powered hearing aids.
Without a second thought, he gave Angel a Leox 3 BTE hearing device which is suited for severe to profound cases. Equipped with exceptional amplification power and a strong feature set, it offers a sound perception that is as close to reality as possible.
Leox is said to be a perfect hearing solution for kids and teens too, like Angel, as it helps them during language development and to achieve their educational goals.
The device usually costs around Php50,000.00, but he gave it to Angel for free.
Bentayo explained that the device was fitted specifically for her ear.
“This hearing aid is considered as the most powerful and designed to promote better amplification and a more realistic sound for those with severe to profound hearing loss,” the hearing care professional said.
Angel’s mother was joyful on seeing her able to hear her.
“Napakalaking tulong po ito sa anak ko. ‘Yung makarinig po siya na tulad ng isang taong may normal na pandinig ay isang pangarap lamang noon. Nagpapasalamat po kami at may isang taong napakabuti ng loob na tumulong sa amin. Dininig po ng Diyos ang aming dasal at ngayon ay mabubuhay na po ng normal ang aking anak,”she said teary-eyed.
She added, “Makakapag-aral na po ng mabuti ang aking anak sa tulong ng hearing niya.”
Angel is currently enrolled in a special education class at San Fernando North Central Elementary School.
Angel's eyes lit up with joy when she first used the device and was able to hear those around her. She grinned and acknowledged each person who welcomed her, demonstrating her gratitude.
The good Samaritan's generosity does not stop there.
Bentayo reassured Angel that in order to provide her balance and a better hearing experience, he will also give her another device for her right ear.
“This is my way of paying back the blessings that I received, and it has been my pledge to help people in need of hearing treatment for them to be able to live a better and normal life,” he said. (JCR/JPD, PIA La Union)