SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Kayla Marr has struggled with hearing loss her entire life. As a teen, her hearing loss was something she always felt like she needed to hide.
“You know, being hearing impaired, it’s definitely not easy,” Marr said.
For eight years, Kayla even stopped wearing her hearing aids because she was embarrassed.
“When I had my old hearing aids, and I was trying to hear people, it was not working. I couldn’t hear a whole lot. It seemed like it didn’t fit or match my hearing loss,” Marr said.
Marr met audiologist Esmeralda Barreintos earlier in the spring when she came looking for help with her hearing aids. Barreintos suggested a device that would improve her hearing by 40 percent but unfortunately, the option was a little too costly.
Barrientos had another idea.
“Throughout our network, 600 clinics or so, every quarter there is a nominee that gets selected for a set of free hearing aids, so we went ahead and nominated Kayla,” said Barrientos.
And Kayla ended up winning. Weeks later, Kayla got the call to come in and try them out. On Thursday, she took them home for good.
“I wanted to cry, but there was so many people. I was really excited and happy,” Marr said about putting the new device on.
The program is also setting up Kayla with free maintenance and care that’s set to last as long as Kayla’s hearing aids do.
Kayla will no longer struggle when it comes to being in noisy environments or hearing those behind her. Her high-tech instruments are some of the most advanced devices in the world.
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“I’m very social I do a lot and these hearing aids now let me enjoy that,” Marr said.
Experts said one in four people will struggle with hearing loss by 2050.