Monday, February 08, 2010
CHARLOTTE, NC — This holiday season Meghan Lutz received a gift like no other — the gift of hearing. As the winner of the Hear for the Holidays contest put on by Presbyterian Rehabilitation Center Charlotte, Meghan, who has moderately severe hearing loss, received a free pair of hearing aids.
Meghan was diagnosed with hearing loss at age 12, but hasn’t worn hearing aids regularly in several years and not at all since one of the pair was lost. As a young mother, Meghan was unable to pay to replace the expensive device and support her family.
“I used to ask people to repeat themselves a lot and would pretend to hear people even if I couldn’t understand what they said,” Meghan explained. She said that she avoided public places and crowds where it would be very difficult for her to hear and understand conversation with so much noise around her.
But with the help of her new hearing aids, Meghan now can hear if her 2-year-old son, Jericho, is crying in his crib. She can understand and be a part of conversation with others including her boyfriend and coworkers in the medical records department at Rankin Women’s Center. Meghan can even hear sounds that she couldn’t before like a whisper. “Or the squeaking of my car,” she joked.
Meghan’s coworkers, family and friends were thrilled when they learned she would be able to hear again. Terri Manring, a nurse at Rankin Women’s Center, was particularly excited to find out. She had secretly nominated Meghan and then surprised her with the good news. “When she found out that I won, she was jumping up and down,” Meghan said. “All I could say is ‘Wow. Thank you!’ My mom was so excited she was ready to cry,” she said.