Hayward man gets the gift of hearing for Christmas - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Hayward man gets the gift of hearing for Christmas

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The Miracle Ear Foundation has donated 13,000 hearing aids to 7,500 children and adults nationwide. 

KBJR 6 Chief Photojournalist Blake Melin takes us to Hayward, WI to show us one of these special moments just in time for Christmas.

At the Miracle Ear office in Hayward, James Carson is listening to the hearing instrument specialist read aloud from "The Rainbow Passage"--a public domain text that researchers typically use to compare the sounds of different dialects.

"A rainbow is a division of white light into many beautiful colors," recites Karen Kowalczyk, "these take the shape of a long round arch, with its path high above, and its two ends apparently beyond the horizon."

But it's not the passage itself that's got Carson hanging on every word. It's the fact he can hear it that makes him, at times, emotional. 

"Well, for a while I knew I had some kind of hearing loss," says Carson, "and at the senior center they had a health fair. And so I thought I would go down and check it out, and I found out that my hearing (loss) was severe. The foundation is giving me two free pair of hearing aids," he adds, "and I am pretty stoked." 

"So... he is going to hear very well for the first time in a very long time," says Kowalczyk. 

Carson admits he's had to make some significant sacrifices due to his hearing loss.

"25 years, 25 years," repeats Carson, "I quit going to concerts 25 years ago. I'm 61." 

As the hearing aids are slowly turned on, Kowalczyk continues reading from the passage.

"People look, but no one ever finds it," reads Kowalczyk, "when a man looks for something beyond his reach, his friends are saying he is looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow." 

The results, say Carson, are better than expected.

"I heard every word," says Carson, "yeah, when she was saying the poem I really didn't have to look at her lips. I could just look at her eyes and... I heard every word."

If you're interested in helping others hear the jingle bells this Christmas season, you can make a contribution to the Miracle Ear foundation.

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