Woman hears family clearly for the first time in 64 years - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Woman hears family clearly for the first time in 64 years

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – On Tuesday, for the first time in 64 years, a Louisville woman finally heard her family clearly. 

"It kept getting worse as I got older, and of course I'm old now so it's getting worse," said Rita Crawley of her hearing.

Several years ago she had a cochlear implant put in her right ear, but the electronic hearing device didn't work.

"I was really disappointed -- very disappointed in that," said Crawley.

The 64-year-old, born nearly deaf, found Avada Audiology on Dixie Highway and hearing instrument specialist Anne Bloomfield performed a hearing test on her.

"I was excited,” said Bloomfield. “I wanted to pull her out before I was even done."

That’s because the results showed that Rita would benefit from a hearing aid in her left ear. The only problem was she couldn’t afford one, because she was on a fixed income.

But Crawley did qualify for a state program for low-income residents, meaning a free device from Avada.

On Tuesday, with support from family, Rita was finally able to hear clearly. Her daughter walked out into the hallway and called for her.

“Mama?” said daughter Crystal Crawley.

“What?” said Rita as Crystal put her hands to her face and started crying.

It was an emotional moment for family members and everyone in the office. Hugs and tears as Rita heard her daughter clearly for the first time since she was born 36 years ago.

"And to be able to hear her voice, and her voice, and her voice,” said Rita, pointing to her daughter, sister and granddaughter.

No more reading lips, constant text messages, or conversations over Facebook.

"I wasn't expecting it to work. This didn't work," she said pointing to her implant, "why should this?”

"I'm happy. I'm tickled pink for her. I can't believe that she can actually hear me again," said Crystal.

"It's just amazing, it's amazing. You're bringing family back, you're bringing intimacy back," said Bloomfield.

It was both a blessing and a miracle. For the first time in six decades, Rita will finally be able to hear during the holidays.

"Oh yes, it's like Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled all in one, yes it is, yes it is, it's just amazing," said Rita.

The free hearing aid had a value of nearly $3,000.

You can find out more about the program that helped Rita here: Kentucky's Statewide Hearing Aid Assistance and Reuse Program.

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