Imagine spending a lifetime unable to hear. For 31-year-old Joey Augusta, from Austin, Texas, the silent world of the deaf is all he had known.
At the young age of 14 months, Augusta was diagnosed with spinal meningitis. This illness left him with only 50% hearing in his right ear.
After 30 years, Augusta was hit with a miracle. After receiving a hearing implant, he began to be able to hear again.
For many years Augusta had to rely on lip reading to understand others. As he sat in a room surrounded by family, he heard the audiologist read off a list colors.
For the fist time in his life he was able to repeat the colors back strictly thorough hearing the sound of the words.
“It was overwhelming to be able to hear things I’d never experienced before.” said Augusta. He was overcome with emotion as he began to hear more and more.
An amazing video showed Augusta hearing for the first time. As he realized that he could now hear his loved ones’ voices and distinguish them from one another, he began to cry with joy.
Those in the room with him could not hold back their own tears. The camera shows weepy family members on the sidelines — but they are tears of joy.
It was a special moment shared by all. Augusta talked about how it’s the little things that mean the most. The leaves blowing in the wind, the birds singing, all sounds that are new.
We take these things for granted. The fact that, for most of us, things like seeing and hearing are just a part of our daily lives is a given.
Augusta is a reminder to take a step back and not to sweat the small stuff.
Being grateful for all that we have, including the ability to hear, is a great way to remind ourselves just how blessed we are.
The audiologist in the room commented on how quickly the implant began to work. After only 30 minutes of switching it on, Augusta’s world began to change.
Most people take time to adjust to the implant and be able to distinguish the differences in voices, but Augusta could tell right away who was speaking and the different nuances to the voices that he had never noticed before.
Now he can give up lip reading and begin a new journey of hearing everything.
There are a lot of new sounds to be discovered, and as Augusta adjusts to the implant, his hearing will improve. But what a great start!
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