On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, devastating the island and its 3.4 million residents. Hurricane Maria, the worst storm to strike the island in over 80 years, arrived two weeks after Hurricane Irma passed just north of the island and left 1 million people without power. The storms have left thousands without homes and destroyed entire communities. Among those affected were many adults and children with hearing loss. Working through dedicated Oticon teams on the ground in Puerto Rico, the Oticon Hearing Foundation supplied Oticon hearing aids and batteries to local hearing care professionals who were providing services to assist those in need.
One such story is of Jorge Ramos who lost his Oticon hearing aids during the hurricane after his house flooded. His audiologist Dr. Michelle Adames Rivera, who works 30 minutes outside of San Juan, contacted the Oticon Hearing Foundation once she heard about Jorge’s hearing aids. Jorge has been her patient for about 5 years and not only suffers from hearing loss but also has visual impairments and mobility disabilities. Dr. Rivera was able to secure reconditioned hearing aids for Jorge for both ears, and provide him with a better model than before that fit his hearing loss.
“He is very very happy because he has other disabilities and now he doesn’t have to worry about his hearing,” she says.
For more information about support of hearing impaired hurricane victims, hearing care professionals can contact the Oticon Regional Audiology Department at 800-526-3921.