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Posted on Friday, December 02, 2011

How a Life-Threatening Illness Became a “Lucky Break."

Stanley Katz smiles because he has new hearing aids and a new kindle!

“I’m thrilled my story will help people with hearing loss.”

Shortly before Stanley D. Katz’s 78th birthday, a regular visit to his cardiologist revealed a life-threatening arterial blockage. The doctor grimly informed Stanley that he would need open heart surgery. How did this dramatic news result in what Stanley--a winner in The Sweet Sounds of Life Contest, calls his, “Lucky break?” Read on to find out.

It was less than a month before my 78th birthday, when a routine visit to my cardiologist revealed a serious amount of arterial blockage, and I was promptly scheduled for open heart surgery. I had a weekend to prepare. An optimist by nature, I was upbeat about my prospects, which reassured my wife and daughter. This made the weekend more pleasant than it might have been.

I’d been wearing hearing aids for about five years, but my hearing loss had grown more severe over that time and I was finding the devices less effective. My audiologist said that my hearing had worsened and recommended that I needed new ones. But I was reluctant to spend the money.

The lucky break was not that I survived the surgery, but that a day later, when I was still groggy from the anesthesia; I lost one of my hearing aids. The nurses looked everywhere, but it was futile; it had probably been lost in the bedding, which had been sent to the hospital laundry hours before.

My recovery was swift, and I went home in less than a week. I had thought to make do with the single hearing aid, but my wife was dismayed; she was tired of having to repeat everything twice. And, frankly, I was tired of asking “what?” I spoke to the audiologist, who suggested that the hospital’s insurance might cover my loss and urged me to make a claim. I did and the hospital ultimately refunded the original cost of the lost hearing aid.

This made the purchase of new, upgraded pair palatable. The audiologist had predicted that the new ones would be a significant improvement. He was right; not only had my hearing deteriorated over the years, but also the technology had made many advances. Both the old and new ones had been behind the ear models, with an invisible plastic tube going into each ear. The new pair placed a tiny speaker at the end of each tube so the sound was in the ear. I would estimate the improvement at 100%. I might as well have been living with a wool muffler wrapped around my head for the last few years. Wife and daughter were thrilled and so was I. Thanks to the insurance proceeds, the cost of the new pair was the same as the original pair five years earlier.

When I thanked the audiologist for his advice, he jokingly told me: “Next time, lose both of them.

Special thanks to Stanley Katz for sharing his great story! He is enjoying his new hearing aids, and is grateful for all those who went above and beyond to make sure this extraordinary story came about. He still considers himself a lucky man.

Stanley Katz is one of the winners of The Sweet Sounds of Life Contest. The Sweet Sounds of Life Contest invited people to share how a hearing instrument benefited their lives or the lives of loved ones. The three winners Ellen Cole, from Albany, NY, Connie Cross, in South Casco, Me, and Stanley Katz, of New York, NY. each received a Kindle™ Reader and accessories bundle valued at $500. Congratulations to Stanley on his new hearing aids and his new Kindle!

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

©2011. American Hearing Aid Associates 225 Wilmington - West Chester Pike, Suite 300 Chadds Ford, PA 19317888.575.2511
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