The Star-Herald

Bridgewater woman can hear again thanks to sisters, new hearing aids

BRIDGEWATER, Maine — For Faith Anderson of Bridgewater, the day that she received new hearing aids thanks to the kindness of her two sisters, Karen Endy and Arlene Buck, and the Beltone Hearing Care Foundation, was one of the best she has had in awhile. 

Anderson has had hearing problems her whole life, but those issues were made worse in 2010 after she took a second round of antibiotics to treat a lung infection. Since then, she has relied on hearing aids, which she received from the Beltone Hearing Center in Presque Isle. But for the last few months those hearing aids had been largely ineffective, with Anderson hardly being able to hear much at all.

“It got to the point where I had the TV volume set to 45,” Anderson said. “When I talked with people, I had to ask them to repeat themselves even after they said something a second time. If I was in a crowd of people, I could only hear background noise and not the person I was talking to.”

Their sister’s struggles prompted Buck and Endy, who also are both from Bridgewater, to take action. After going with Anderson to get her hearing aids serviced once again, they learned of the Beltone Hearing Care Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides free hearing aids to those in need. All the sisters had to do was send two letters of recommendation on behalf of Anderson, which explained her situation and how she could not afford the hefty price tag of $9,400 for new hearing aids.

“Karen was the one who told me we needed to write letters for Faith and so that’s what we did,” Buck said.

In her letter to the foundation, Endy wrote that her sister, “continues to miss out on many different functions because she can’t hear. She loves music but can’t hear to understand what they are saying.  She gets very depressed about this. She also drives so it’s very important for her to be able to hear for that.”

Buck wrote in her letter that Anderson has difficulty communicating with two sons and a grandson “that she adores.” Buck added that because her sister can’t hear to talk on the phone, “ I have to do a lot of her calling for her and I work full time and am not always home in time to get her calls done in the time frame.”

Four weeks after the letters were submitted, Anderson received her two new hearing aids on July 25 at Beltone’s Presque Isle hearing center and immediately noticed an overwhelming difference over her old hearing aids.

“There was no background noise like before,” she said. “Now I can hear what other people are saying and enjoy talking to them.”

Anderson has now had her new hearing aids for two weeks and said she is thankful to Beltone for being helpful during the transition and to her sisters for looking out for her when she needed them most.

“If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what I would have done,” Anderson said. “Those two are not only my family, they’re my best friends. We do a lot to help each other out.”

Buck said she encourages anyone who struggles with hearing loss or knows someone who does to contact the Beltone Hearing Care Foundation. She also indicated that the experience has taught her never to take for granted the little moments she shares with Anderson.

“Just seeing her carry on a normal conversation and smile when we say something stupid or funny [has provided] some of the greatest moments during these past few weeks,” Buck said. “If all it takes is two letters to change someone’s life, then it’s well worth it.”

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