Hearing aids reconnect Vietnam vet with friends and family

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When Terry O’Neill’s hearing started deteriorating 15 years ago, he didn’t think much of it.

The 72-year-old War Veteran had served with the artillery in Vietnam; “firing artillery involves great big canons that go a long way—and they’re very loud,” explains Terry.

“We were supposed to wear hearing protection but nobody ever did.”

Terry managed to hide his hearing loss for many years, getting by with a combination of intense concentration, lip reading and guessing. But it wasn’t until he was sitting down for coffee with his friends after a gym workout this year that it truly hit home what he was missing.

“He said to me—I can’t even hear the guys at the gym anymore,” Terry’s wife of 48 years, Annette, remembers. “That was the catalyst.”

Soon after, Terry made an appointment with audiologist Liz Rocher at Lions Hearing Clinic despite his apprehensions about whether hearing aids would work for him. But he needn’t have worried.

“Liz was brilliant; she took a lot of time to set the hearing aids up so they were perfectly tuned,” Annette explains. “And he took to it like a duck to water. It’s just wonderful, he’s a whole different person—and a happier person. He’s laughing more, and he’s so much more engaged. It’s so liberating; we can sit in the car or in a restaurant and actually have a conversation.”

“It really has made a difference.”

And now, Terry is thrilled to be joining in with the gym boys once again. “Socially, it can change your life. I found myself withdrawing because it was difficult to engage in conversation. But once you can engage, it opens up so much.”

“I am hearing my grandchildren as well now, which is wonderful.”

Annette urges anyone who is experiencing symptoms of hearing loss, to have it checked by an audiologist. “The whole experience at Lions Hearing Clinics was so easy. If we’d known how simple and easy it would be, we should have done it 15 years ago. Liz took the time to educate Terry on how to use his hearing aids, which made a huge difference. He felt confident that he could do it straight away, which is so important. I would only recommend Lions Hearing Clinics—they’ve been fabulous.”