JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) Four local deaf children have been chosen by the HearStrong Foundation to each give the gift of hearing to one adult who has made a difference in their life.
Pheben Kassahun met with a nine-year-old girl and her mother who will be part of a special ceremony this week.
The Waiting to Hear organization helps kids receive free hearing aids due to challenges with insurance.
Sherry Ball recently learned she was suffering from hearing loss after a long journey to help restore her daughter’s sense of hearing.
It is a full circle moment for this mother and daughter.
“Sarah had become a HearStrong Champion and she had chosen me for the hearing aids,” Sherry Ball said.
A nearly $5,000 pricetag will be gifted to her, by her daughter, this Friday at the Carnegie Hotel in Johnson City.
“My heart was so warm and it meant so much to me, and I love her so much,” Ball said.
The 46-year-old was diagnosed with hearing loss in October 2019.
Ball said, “We have the screeners for the kids that do the hearing tests on, and we had to practice with them. So, when I was doing my practicing, I found out, ‘Oh, I had hearin loss now. I think mine was due to ear infections.”
She has found herself in a similar situation as her daughter.
“I know that she helped me, so I was deciding to help her. I know she needs them and I know she loves me so much,” her daughter Sarah said.
Upon learning Sarah had lost her hearing at the age of two, her mother decided to quit her day job as a respiratory therapist to help her daughter transition into her cochlear implants. It is a $250,000r pricetag which includes the procedure and the magnetic implants.
“Since then, we’ve been to speech therapy twice a week. She gets it at school,” Ball said, “Before, she coundn’t here or she maybe had ten words to her vocabulary and now she’s just amazing!”
Sarah said, “I cannot hear anything and then when I put them on, it’s like I’m stepping through a light door and into a new world.”
Six years later, her daughter is now able to return the favor and help her mother.
“I know she needs them and she helped me so, so, so much,” Sarah said.
The private event will be held at the Carnegie Hotel at 7 p.m.
There, four local youth will each gift hearing aids to an adult of their choice.