What would you do with your first exposure to sound?
That’s an easy question for 6-year-old Sayan, in Kolkata, India. Make noise all night long.
Grace Strangis, founder of the Pathways to Children organization, a non-profit based in Minneapolis, MN, recently traveled to Kolkata, India to a school she started there: Jan Seva School. Besides housing a preschool program for children 2-6 years old and helping children with special needs, the school provides a number of practical programs for mothers and runs two health clinics.
When Sayan came to the Jan Seva School, he was mistaken for being mentally disabled because he did not speak, respond to teachers or make friends. Sayan had previously worn very old hearing aids, but they did not work well enough for him to hear clearly. But during the January 2015 mission trip sponsored by Pathways to Children which included a team of 18 alumni from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Ms. Strangis brought 18 sets of hearing aids donated through ReSound. When Sayan was fitted with one of these hearing aids, everything changed. Ms. Strangis described what happened next:
“I always say it’s like a miracle,” said Ms. Strangis. “We were crying because suddenly he was startled. He looked around and heard noises. I guess he went home and made noises all night because he could hear himself for the first time.”
“The next day at school he grabbed another boy [who had hearing problems] and brought him to me and points at his ears—meaning he needed a hearing aid as well.”
Sayan has now been admitted to the Helen Keller Institute for the Hearing Impaired in Kolkata. Ms. Strangis says of the experience: “I can’t thank ReSound enough because I’ve watched a miracle in front of me.”