Colby Becton is a 12-year-old seventh grader, and his reaction on Wednesday morning was that of a typical preteen. He was a little embarrassed to be the center of attention. But when he heard music from his iPhone streamed directly into his ears for the first time ever, he smiled wide, laughed hard, and bobbed his head to the beat.
“I’m ecstatic,” said his mother Tammy with a laugh.
Colby has what’s clinically described as moderately severe hearing loss. He describes his hearing as “like you’re underwater, basically.”
He’s worn hearing aids most of his life, but they were not always convenient and not always cool.
At the Lewisville Miracle-Ear offices, Colby was presented some of the most advanced hearing technology on the market. Through his cell phone and a Bluetooth connection, his new, small hearing aids will help him hear things he’s never heard before.
“He hears about 40 percent without any assistance and was hearing at 65 percent with the hearing aids that he had from three-and-a-half years ago,” said Chris Flake, a hearing implementation specialist with Miracle-Ear. “He was right around 92 percent with the ones we just fit him today.”
The Bectons didn’t pay a penny for the new hearing aids, thanks to the Miracle-Ear Foundation, which has donated more than 16,000 hearing aids to more than 9,100 recipients in the last 28 years.
“It’s very rewarding,” Flake said.
Colby is already a straight-A student, but the new technology should help him more clearly hear his teachers. He’s more excited about being able to enjoy typical teenage things.
“I can listen to music, I can go to the movies. I don’t have to try to guess what they said,” he said.