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