“He wouldn’t stop smiling” – The Impact of Project HEAVEN in Fiji

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Jason Dria is a clinical audiologist who has been working at Oticon for 10 years. When asked about his time in Fiji for Project H.E.A.V.E.N, he describes it as rewarding because of the wide patient population they were helping.

“We were at a school and started at 9am and worked until about 4pm. Hearing was evaluated and if we found they had a hearing loss we moved them to another room where they had a hearing aid fitting. We transformed that village and specifically the school into a triage area – initial interviews, evaluating hearing, and then medical intervention,” he said.

Jason and the team of volunteers saw many men, women, and children throughout the day, but he recalls one particular patient that stood out and became a representation of why this type of humanitarian work is so important.

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“We arrived at 8am and other providers were arriving at 9am. There was a gentleman there waiting for us already. We did a screening and he certainly had hearing loss. He was fit with hearing aids and his smile didn’t come off of his face the entire time. In fact, he continued to walk around and he came back an hour later, still smiling.

This is why this is important. This is care people would have never received if we didn’t go. That smile on his face would have never come. Just having the opportunity to make a change in someone’s life like that, without question that’s what’s important. It really is about people, and this type of work really exemplifies that.”

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