Feb. 21—SHAMOKIN DAM — Until recently Edward Lewis, 88, of Sunbury, had so much trouble hearing, that it was even difficult for him to hear the noise made by trains passed by his Third Street. home in Sunbury.
Lewis, who lives alone, said on Monday that all this has changed.
"I can hear now," he said, laughing, thanks to a new, more powerful hearing aid. "Those trains are loud."
Miracle-Ear of Shamokin Dam, a part of a nationwide hearing solution franchise, partnered with the Miracle-Ear Foundation to provide Lewis with with a free hearing aid.
Lewis had a hearing loss for many years, he said.
And even with his current hearing aids, he struggled communicating with his family and friends.
"I don't see my family very much," he said. "They mostly live around here. My brother visits me every once in a while."
Lewis said he felt himself pulling away from activities he enjoyed the most, like watching a movie with his brother and hanging out with friends at a local coffee shop.
Growing more isolated, he decided to reach out to Miracle-Ear for an evaluation.
"Edward had been a longtime patient here, since 2008," said hearing specialist Jackie Latsha, who helped fit Lewis with the proper device. "He needed a new, stronger device to deal with a more severe hearing loss."
Latsha tested Lewis and confirmed the need for new hearing aids but quickly determined that the cost of hearing aids was out of his reach.
She then turned for assistance from the Miracle-Ear Foundation.
Lewis was approved and fitted with donated hearing aids as well as life-time aftercare.
Lewis is thrilled with his new hearing aids. He is excited to be able to communicate with his family and friends.
In partnership with local franchisee, Julie McKelvey, and her staff, the Miracle-Ear Foundation, a Minneapolis-based non-profit organization, supports underserved adults and children across the country with their hearing healthcare needs.
The Miracle-Ear Foundation, working with Miracle-Ear centers across the country, has donated more than 30,000 hearing aids to nearly 16,000 individuals nationwide, including the aids donated to Lewis. The foundation provides hearing aids to adults and children when they don't have the financial resources to purchase it on their own.
"There is a wide price range of devices," Latsha explained. "And for some, that price is out of reach."
Lewis's hearing aid fitting marks McKelvey's commitment to supporting the Foundation throughout all of her owned and operated Pennsylvania stores.
"We know that hearing loss lowers the quality of life for adults at any age," said McKelvey. "When hearing loss goes undetected, it can lead to social isolation, strained relationships, and can even impact earning potential."
The local Miracle-Ear franchise has supported adults and children in Shamokin Dam for many years, providing hundreds of hearing aids to those in need.
"We're proud to support better hearing in our community," said McKelvey "When given the chance to improve lives through the gift of sound, we want to ensure every Shamokin Dam resident has the opportunity."
The Shamokin Miracle Ear franchise, at 2668 N. Susquehanna Trail, is the only one in the Valley, but there are others throughout Pennsylvania. There are Miracle-Ear franchises in nearby Bloomsburg and Williamsport, Latsha said.
For more information about the Miracle Ear Foundation, go to https://www.miracle-ear.com/miracle-ear-foundation.