By Glen S. Ramos

San Fernando City, La Union – A 14-year old girl who was diagnosed to have a profound hearing loss today received a precious gift from a good Samaritan – a hearing aid, to help her amplify sounds in her surroundings and to make them more detectable to the ear.

Angel May H. Labsan, a resident of Barangay Urbiztondo, a town in San Juan, La Union has been deaf since birth and could not speak audibly and only communicates through sign language. She is the elder of two siblings.

According to her mother, Myra H. Labsan, she only discovered her condition when she took her to a specialist. “Napansin ko po na hindi parang hindi sya nakakarinig sa tuwing kinakausap ko po sya at pinapatahan kapag umiiyak, kaya dinala napo namin sya sa duktor.”

Her mother wanted to pursue treatment but could not afford one.

Angel’s parents worked as surfing instructors with a monthly income of P3,000-4,000.00 during lean months and a maximum of P12,000.00 during festive season which usually begins from October to December were tourists galore.

Luckily, her case was referred to Fredel P. Bentayo, a hearing care professional and audiometrist who immediately conducted on-site hearing assessment and found out that her hearing loss is still possible to treat, with the use of high-powered hearing aids.

Angel was given a free Leox 3 BTE hearing device for severe to profound cases. It uses multiple systems to ensure real-time amplification and speech recognition in various listening situations. It can process sound up to 20,000 times per second.

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 Leox 3 BTE costs P50,000.00 per device.

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.”

“Makakapag-aral napo ng mabuti ang aking anak sa tulong ng hearing niya,” Mrs. Labsan said.

Angel is currently enrolled at the San Fernando North Central Elementary School taking up special education (SPED) class.

Upon receiving the device, Angel was delighted when she was able to hear the people around her and showed her appreciation by smiling and acknowledging every one that greeted her.

Bentayo assured that he will also provide another device for Angel’s right ear to provide her balance and more improved hearing experienced. “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.” (ai/mtvn)

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