The girls went to a birthday party at gym where Jill takes gymnastics on Saturday. The coaches that ran the party were Jill's class coach and another coach that we have made friends with. We met him a few parties ago (because EVERY kid...mine included...has their party there) for a classmate of Emmi's, and this coach was specifically requested for the fact that he himself is almost completely deaf. He wears hearing aids and reads lips, and really understands kids like Emmi. Right away, we really liked him. Kenny and I talked to him a lot about what his childhood was like, what he has been through. He was very open and honest. We ended up requesting him for Jill's party. So we were excited when we saw that he was the coach for today.
Emmi ran up and hugged him, and I followed to say hello. The last time we saw him, we had gotten into a conversation about the cost of replacement parts, and how many things we had lost, and how many strange places we had lost them (coil..which is a magnet..found on a door hinge two days later). So immediately, he says, "Guess what! The very next day I lost my hearing aid. I am down to one. I am going back home next month, and a family member is going to help me get a new one. I have to pay for the replacement, and it is $5000.00!!" I was shocked. He has already gone over a month without it. He plans to go almost another month, and you know he has had to beg relatives to help him out. It is ridiculous. I was outraged. I just kept thinking there had to be something I could do.
And then, when I couldn't sleep from my sore throat and stuffy nose, it occurred to me. Emmi's old hearing aids. The one's from the trial that she had to do before she could get an implant. She wore them maybe ten or twenty times. I still have them store away in the container with the little biscuit that keeps the humidity away. It would have to be reprogrammed. He would need a new earmold. But I did the research online. The hearing aid itself is the big chunk of the cost. And it is the same style (BTE) that he wears on the other ear. From what I can tell, she was given one of the best brands. I can't wait until the gym opens. I know he is working. I am going to have Emmi bring it to him, and offer to give it to him.
I really hope he will take it. The thing is he has already given so much to us, and he doesn't even know it. We watched him, this obviously well-liked, happy, out-going guy, who was not at all held back by his hearing loss, and it gave us confidence that Emmi would be like that one day. I have always feared that self-consciousness would catch up to her. He shared with us his stories of is his behavior as a child, and I began to understand Emmi's thinking a little more. He gave us insight into her world when we really haven't had any. For that, I think he deserves to be thanked.