Bet­ter Hear­ing and Bal­ance gives a gift of hear­ing to a hero

The Weekly Vista - - Community - By Karen Rice

Joe Copeland, 98, served over­seas dur­ing World War II, where he saw a lot of ac­tion. Dur­ing the Al­lied in­va­sion of Si­cily, he sac­ri­ficed a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of his hear­ing. When he re­turned home, he didn’t let his hear­ing loss stop him from liv­ing a full and in­ter­est­ing life, in­clud­ing a ca­reer, a fam­ily and com­mu­nity ser­vice. Among other things, he’s been a faith­ful vol­un­teer at the Fayet­teville Pub­lic Li­brary for the past 45 years.

In Au­gust, the North­west Ar­kan­sas Demo­crat-Gazette pub­lished a Pro­file fea­ture about

Joe. That’s where Les Magee, owner of Bet­ter Hear­ing and Bal­ance, learned about Joe, his in­cred­i­ble story and the hear­ing loss he’s been liv­ing with for most of his adult life.

“The ar­ti­cle just moved me. The thought that he had gone ba­si­cally 40 years without be­ing able to hear very well,” Les said.

Due to some record-keep­ing sna­fus, the Vet­eran’s Ad­min­is­tra­tion had re­peat­edly de­nied Joe’s re­quest for hear­ing aids. Joe’s plight struck a chord with Les and his wife, au­di­ol­o­gist Dr. Gretchen Magee. In ad­di­tion to be­ing in the au­di­ol­ogy busi­ness, the cou­ple is in­volved in the Sons and the Daugh­ters of the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion. Les is also a vet­eran.

“He’s writ­ten to the gov­er­nor, he’s writ­ten to con­gress­man, he’s done ev­ery­thing to try to get these hear­ing aids,” Les said about Joe’s predica­ment. “And noth­ing was re­solv­ing the is­sue.”

Les de­cided he would do what he could to get Joe some hear­ing aids.

“We were in a place where we could help him… we sell hear­ing aids of course,” Les ex­plained. “That’s what we’re in the busi­ness for, to help peo­ple hear the sounds and the laugh­ter and all the things they’ve been miss­ing out on.”

Plus, Les and Gretchen be­lieved it was just the right thing to do.

“I think it’s the right thing to get this gen­tle­man hear­ing aids. He’s given a lot to his coun­try and to this com­mu­nity.”

So Les reached out to one of his hear­ing aid sales rep­re­sen­ta­tives for help.

“I told my sales rep, I’ve got this vet­eran who re­ally needs some hear­ing aids. What can we do for him?”

The hear­ing aid com­pany, Re­Sound, agreed to pro­vide the hear­ing aids at no charge. Bet­ter Hear­ing and Bal­ance would pro­vide the di­ag­nos­tic test­ing, fit­ting and fol­low up care for Joe, along with any sup­plies or main­te­nance.

Les con­tacted Joe to tell him the news, and to set up a time for him to come in to Bet­ter Hear­ing’s Fayet­teville of­fice.

“We brought Joe in, talked to him, tested his hear­ing and made im­pres­sions for cus­tom hear­ing aids,” Les ex­plained. “I was so happy to be able to of­fer that. He’s 98, so he’s gone a long time with de­creased hear­ing.”

We caught up with Joe at Bet­ter Hear­ing, while he was there for a fi­nal fit­ting and to get his hear­ing aids. Dr. Gretchen Magee made sure Joe knew how to ad­just and use them, and ex­plained that he could come in any­time for main­te­nance, ad­just­ments and sup­plies.

What did Joe think about his new hear­ing aids and the idea of be­ing able to hear clearly again? “I’m back in busi­ness now,” he re­marked. Look for Joe on Tues­days and Thurs­days at the Fayet­teville Li­brary, in the used book­store on the first floor. Ask him a ques­tion. You won’t have to re­peat it. Thanks to the folks at Bet­ter Hear­ing and Bal­ance, he’ll hear you and be happy to help.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to sched­ule an ap­point­ment, call Bet­ter Hear­ing and Bal­ance at (855) 657-6464.

Dr. Gretchen Magee presents Joe with his hear­ing aids.

Joe Copeland, circa WWII

Joe Copeland, to­day

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.