I brushed the sleep from my eyes at 5 AM and got ready for a day I was too tired […]
I brushed the sleep from my eyes at 5 AM and got ready for a day I was too tired for. Even though I left early, the ride from Brooklyn to New Jersey took entirely too long. I spilled coffee on myself as the driver weaved through traffic.
I was headed to the office of one of our clients, a company that creates hearing devices for people with severe hearing loss. We had a few patients in town for a photo shoot.
At nine, the patients came in and we hugged hello. I was happy to see them all, but nine-year-old Davin brought some much-needed energy into the room.
Davin was born without hearing in both ears, actually, he was born with Microtia and Atresia, so without most of each ear. He now has surgically crafted ears and a device on each side for his hearing.
Later that day, he took the devices, Ponto Bone Anchored Hearing Aids, off while one of the team members crafted a carrying case for the rare occasions he didn’t have them on. While we waited, his mom Shannon whispered to me about the secret camping trip they were taking that weekend. Then, she looked over at Davin and said, “Oh, he can’t hear us, I don’t have to whisper.”
I looked over at Davin too, the boy who was convincing me to have a burping contest with him minutes ago, laying his belly on the stool with wheels, arms out like a superhero, was now silent.
His mom had told us umpteen times that day what a miracle the devices were, but I finally could see and feel what she meant. Without the devices, Davin’s brilliant, funny and outgoing personality might never fully be known.
When he first saw me earlier that day he walked up to me and said, “I remember you. Your name is Elizabeth, but they call you Liz.”
He was right, we did meet before. We met at the annual advocacy event we created with Oticon Medical. We find patients who are talking about their devices online and bring them together in person to share their experiences with each other. It’s a weekend of stories of struggle and triumph—and happy tears.
Today, Davin brought light to what I knew, but can’t remember often enough in my day-to-day work. Because of the work we do, the company might know of their patients, but they wouldn’t know them. They wouldn’t know the ins-and-outs of their stories. They wouldn’t know that earlier that week Davin’s baseball coach had accidentally yelled, “Gavin get the ball!” From across the field, Davin yelled back, “it’s DAVIN!” “I was just thrilled he could hear from that far away,” Shannon said. They wouldn’t know that when Davin first got his hearing devices he immediately noticed the sounds of the tires on the road on the ride home.
Without knowing those stories, they wouldn’t be able to share them—to inspire other people to explore their options for their own hearing loss.
Knowing is our Pursuit. Reminding not only ourselves but the companies we work with why they do what they do, is our Pursuit.
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