Listening to each other’s questions and critiques, enjoying laughter, even quiet times of reflection. These moments are part of a grand adventure at Oklahoma City’s National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum shared by Hadley Krueger, age 9, and her grandfather Dennis — “PaPa” to her. It is special time together, and both will tell you Hearts for Hearing helped make it – and many other grand moments – possible.
Hadley was four years old when she failed a hearing test at Mother’s Day Out. Her mom, Emma Krueger, says they initially brushed it off but scheduled an appointment at Hearts for Hearing to be certain. “I started crying when her audiologist told me Hadley had moderate to severe hearing loss in her right ear.”
“What would her future look like? Would she miss out on things? Would she be self-conscious? Would other kids make fun of her?” All questions her mom and the family asked themselves.
From the first appointment to all that have followed, we have been supported and encouraged by the caring team at Hearts for Hearing. Very quickly, Hadley was fitted with a BAHA – or bone anchored hearing aid. “The moment it was activated she clearly heard my voice for the very first time, and we listened to a song together. It is a moment I will never forget,” says mom, “and I smile every time I hear that song now.”
Five years later, Hadley is doing well. She enjoys dance, is learning to play golf, excels in school, and loves geography and museums – especially the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum with her PaPa.
People kept telling Dennis the television was too loud, and he was always asking people to repeat things. At family gatherings, he found himself on the sidelines. He felt as if he was missing out. Encouraged by Hadley, he scheduled an appointment with The Adult Clinic at Hearts for Hearing and was diagnosed and fitted with hearing technology.
Dennis marvels now at all the sounds, big and small, he wasn’t hearing before – especially those ordinary, but very special, moments with granddaughter Hadley and the rest of his family and friends.
Hearts for Hearing was founded in 2003 with a mission of providing hearing technology and speech therapy services at no out-of-pocket costs to families with children who were born deaf. 20 years later, we are still teaching babies and children born deaf to listen and talk. Our services have expanded to include adult hearing care with offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Shawnee. Our team of professionals has grown from our original three people to 117 now. Hearts for Hearing continues to provide the first set of hearing technology and therapy to children at no out-of-pocket costs to families, and now includes Newborn Hearing Screen services, major research initiatives, Eyes Open Ears On programming, and its own 3D ear mold lab.