Laguna Woods, CA, December 16, 2014—The “season of giving” has become a year-round occasion for the founder of an Orange County hearing aid practice who has helped fit hundreds of under-privileged kids around the world with hearing aids. Stuart Spencer of Advanced Ear Care has traveled within the US and to El Salvador, Peru, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Mexico with the Starkey Hearing Foundation on missions “so the world may hear.” The experiences have enabled him to better serve his patients here at home.
Stuart learned that in some countries children with significant hearing loss are prohibited from attending school, often due to the lack of tools and resources to meet their unique learning requirements. The Starkey Hearing Foundation coordinates missions with governments, community groups and countless volunteers like Stuart to provide these kids with hearing aids. As a result, these children can get back into the classroom. Plus, the ability to hear boosts these kids’ confidence, helps them feel safer and enables them to build better relationships with family, friends and schoolmates.
Stuart shared, “Starkey Hearing Foundation has been facilitating these missions for three decades, fitting more than one million people with hearing aids and empowering communities to support hearing health services. I recently met people who were fitted by the foundation as kids, who are now thriving adults with families of their own. The ability to hear enabled them to not only live better lives, but to add value to their communities.”
According to Stuart, there’s nothing like witnessing a child hear for the first time. He said, “When I’m fitting kids with hearing aids, I always look at the corner of their eyes when I first turn up the volume. The instant their eye opens wide is the magic moment when I know they’re hearing the world around them.”
His most profound moment occurred this past summer in Peru. A man brought his two-year-old granddaughter to be fitted for hearing aids. Stuart had tried small hearing aids in both ears, with no result. So he and Tani Austin of Starkey Hearing Foundation tried a more powerful body aid. They tried the left ear first. Nothing happened. Then they tried the right ear and saw those young eyes open wide in wonder. The little girl started repeating the sounds she heard, hearing her own voice for the first time. Stuart said, “Her grandfather was crying. Tani was crying. I was crying. I knew this little girl would have sound in her life.”
Stuart’s experiences abroad have impacted the way he and his team at Advanced Ear Care work with patients. Many of the children touched by these missions only have one set of clothes and many don’t have shoes. Yet, they are some of the happiest people. Stuart says, “The lesson is that material items don’t bring happiness. That has impacted our relationships with clients. We never focus on ‘selling’ hearing aids. Our goal is to provide people with hearing devices that help them reconnect with their friends and family so they can live a fuller life.”
Stuart is ready to jet off to Haiti in January on another mission with the Starkey Hearing Foundation. He is excited to continue doing his small part in spreading the joy of hearing.
About Advanced Ear Care
Advanced Ear Care has served the Laguna Woods, California area and its surrounding communities for 30 years. The company offers a full range of diagnostic and preventative hearing healthcare professional services, including hearing aid screening, evaluations, hearing aids sales and rehabilitative and preventative counseling. The team at Advanced Ear Care is dedicated to staying abreast of the latest improvements and technological advancements in the hearing industry and is committed to offering the most current options to patients. Learn more at www.advancedearcare.com.