Danton Hyman, a recent graduate of Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina, and the school's first ever South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year (for baseball), wrote this blog after being fit with Livio AI hearing aids.
"Some people need glasses to see, some people need hearing aids to hear.” That is a phrase that I have often used throughout my life. My name is Danton Hyman, and when I was two years old, my family noticed that I was not always responding when they talked to me. After my parents sought first and second opinions about this issue from experts, I was diagnosed with hearing loss.
It was difficult at first for my parents to come to terms with this. They knew my life would be different because of it. But ever since that young age, I have chosen to embrace wearing hearing aids rather than hiding them. And throughout my life, I have encouraged other hearing aid wearers, especially kids, to do the same.
I love spending time at my mom’s school talking to kids who wear hearing aids. I understand how they feel: nervous about the way other children will respond, worried about keeping the hearing aids in good condition and sometimes scared wondering if the hearing aids will quit working at a time when they need them most. I enjoy sharing stories with kids about my hearing aids and how they have helped me hear my teachers in class and helped me have better conversations with my friends.
I play baseball too, and my hearing aids have made all the difference being able to hear my coaches on the field or even hearing the sound of the baseball coming off the bat. Teachers and parents have told me that talking with these kids has made a huge difference. After hearing me talk, some children started wearing their hearing aids on a regular basis and other kids were able to gain confidence to deal with negative things other children would say.
While I’ve always felt happy to share my thoughts about hearing aids with others, something happened recently that has driven me to do this even more. Earlier in the year, I was contacted by Starkey Hearing Technologies. I was told the president of the company, Brandon Sawalich, wanted to provide me with a pair of the company’s newest hearing aids. He saw an article about me in our town’s newspaper and loved the encouragement I was giving young hearing aid wearers. I gladly accepted, and we scheduled a fitting.
The hearing aids, called Livio AI, have changed the way I hear, communicate and feel. I hear like I never have before. I feel more confident in communicating with people in person and on the phone. I never knew that there were hearing aids out there like the ones I have now.
I was talking with a former baseball buddy the other day, and he is a very soft-spoken person. I never once had to ask him to repeat anything he said because I heard him the first time. I said to him, “The new hearing aids I got are unreal! I can hear everything now.” It is a true blessing to receive a gift like this. I feel blessed that I have the best technology available. My Livio Al hearing aids, and the people who have helped me get them, are class acts.
Receiving these Livio AI hearing aids not only left me feeling grateful, it amazed me at how far hearing technology has come. As hearing aids continue to get even more advanced, I think it will allow hearing aid wearers to get more comfortable and confident with themselves.
Seeing what the Livio AI can do has given me even more energy to try and reduce the stigma around hearing aids. I want to help others, especially children, feel confident in whatever they do.
- Danton Hyman
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