Starkey Hearing Foundation
and IDEA Philippines Team Up
To Provide Hearing Aids to Bohol
December six and seven were a whirlwind couple of days at IDEA’s Dao Diamond Hotel in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. The six member Starkey Hearing Foundation audiology team from the States plus nine audiology student volunteers from the University of Santo Tomas flew into Tagbilaran, Bohol to distribute hearing aids. The trip to Bohol for them had some drama to it as the airplane they chartered missed the taxiway and buried one airplane wheels three feet into the mud. Luckily the landing gear did not collapse. Finding another flight delayed the start of the mission by more than half a day but like real troopers, they hit the ground running and worked late into the night to fit the crowds of people who were waiting eagerly to receive the gift of hearing aids.
Along with IDEA Philippines staff, the team was able to fit around 900 people with aids in the short two days. Bill Austin, the founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation and owner of Starkey Labs, lead the mission and inspired the team with his super human dedication to serve the patients and his incredible stamina. The teams worked straight though lunch and dinner without stopping to eat in order to be able to meet the needs of the crowds. The sacrificial attitude of the IDEA staff and Starkey Mission team was truly awesome!
Bill Austin, Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation
The two day event was punctuated with literally hundreds and hundreds of “AHA” moments when either someone began to hear sounds they never had heard before or someone with slowly diminished hearing was restored. Huge smiles where on peoples faces as they exited the distribution center with their new electronic hearing devices. Small conclaves of individuals could be seen standing around talking to each other to marvel at the improvement in understanding of speech. In the case of the sever and profoundly deaf students, they were realizing they could hear car horns or laughter of people around them. Just being aware of the sounds around they makes there world safer and more enjoyable even if they couldn’t understand speech. What a special time!
THANK YOU Starkey Hearing Foundation for this amazing gift of hearing for Bohol. THANK YOU Bill Austin.