When Gail Ogrodnik heard crashing through the woods near their heavily wooded home on Vancouver Island, she reached quickly for her 18-month old grandson walking beside her. Cougars and black bears were common—but really, who knew what might be racing toward them?
It was only Gail’s German Shepherd. It turns out Gail’s dog, Oliver, had been following her on walks for some time—she had simply not heard him.
Gail has had hearing loss since childhood. Over the years, she tried a number of hearing aids. She also learned to read lips and employed other coping skills, like asking her grandchildren to “please face her when talking.” Otherwise she would not know what they were saying.
But in May of 2015, Gail was fitted with two ReSound LiNX² hearing aids.
“Until I tried these new ReSound hearing aids I did not realize what exactly I was unable to hear,” said Gail. “I have a severe hearing loss. I knew I was missing a lot, but had no idea until now.”
After starting with her ReSound hearing aids, Gail heard a number of firsts. Like a hummingbird.
“They get that name from somewhere, that humming of the wings,” said Gail. “I’ve been listening right outside my window and I just stopped because it is such a beautiful sound.” The rustling of the woods and the bushes were remarkable when she first heard them, too. Gail had never before heard the sound of a garbage can scraping on the street. But now she knew which direction to look to locate the sound. And waves:
“Did you realize rocks roll with waves?” she asked.
But then the new sounds peaked with her grandkids.
“Then the icing on the cake,” said Gail. “My 1 year old grandson and his daddy telephoned. I heard Evan’s little giggle directly into my head. ‘Hi, Mamma’ he said I’ll never forget that sound right into my head.”
Gail uses other technology as well to help her hear in certain situations. She uses the ReSound TV Streamer 2 to stream sound to her hearing aid from her TV. And finds the iPhone to be “magical.” It used to be that she would “miss every couple words,” but now she looks forward to telephone conversations. And the ability to stream music through her hearing aid was something of an epiphany for Gail. She had never heard music that close or that well before.
“I now have two dreams,” said Gail. “To take my grandkids to Disneyland and to hear all of the laughter—in the happiest place on earth. I used to watch the children laugh on rides and wondered what that really sounded like. Now I just want to hear more and more.”
“And I want to take my grandchildren to a symphony to hear all of the musical instruments.”
“These hearing aids, it’s just, like a light switch,” said Gail. “It’s gotten turned on. It is just so phenomenal.”