Last week, Tony Trejo walked into the Sonus Hearing Care Professionals office in Long Beach for a hearing test with Marilyn Hildreth, Au.D. The results of the test showed that Tony needed hearing aids. Upon hearing the news, he smiled and broke into tears.
Tony is a 36-year-old father of a two-year-old daughter who has cochlear implant: a small, complex electronic device that can help provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. Additionally, Tony's 12-year-old stepson has been a hearing aid wearer since the age of two.
After Tony’s wife mentioned that she suspected Tony might have hearing loss, he purposely scheduled his hearing test on her birthday as a surprise to her. Together, they cried with joy upon hearing Tony was a hearing aid candidate; Tony could now take the hearing aid journey with his daughter and stepson. They would no longer be singled out as being “different” because of their hearing losses.
Dr. Hildreth shared Tony’s story with the owners of Sonus Hearing Care Professionals, Clay Gililland and Loren Lunsford, Au.D., who quickly made the decision to fit this proud, but financially strapped, father of five with a free set of hearing aids.
“Tony’s excitement and positive outlook led me to reach out to my coworkers because so often, people have a negative reaction to hearing aids and hearing loss,” said Dr. Hildreth. “Rather than denying it, Tony is embracing it! I wanted others to be inspired by him as well.”
“I’m honored if I can encourage even one person to do something about their hearing loss. The more I can raise awareness of hearing loss, the less challenging life will be for my daughter and stepson,” added Tony.
“This father is proof that one man can make a difference,” said Dr. Lunsford. “We wanted to recognize and support that. We’re in this industry because we get to see lives change every day, and it’s so rewarding. Here’s a man that wanted this for more than his own personal wellbeing and he can really be a remarkable example to many. We’re honored to be a part of that.”