Category Archives: Patient Testimonials

“Dad hadn’t known what he was missing.”

“Because of our dad’s hearing loss, he was becoming more and more of a recluse. We were all frustrated and exhausted from years of trying to communicate with him. Only by double-teaming with my sister were we able to get him to see an audiologist. You can’t imagine the look on his face the moment his hearing were aids programmed. He hadn’t known what he was missing. I think he’s very pleased and grateful; I know I am.”
—Jacksonville Hearing & Balance patient family member

“Having an audiologist…gives me confidence.”

“I know a thing or two about hearing aids since I’ve worn them for 15 years. Fortunately, they’ve gotten smaller and better over time as my hearing has gotten worse. But there are so many choices now that it’s easy to get confused about what will work best for my particular hearing loss. Having an audiologist with education and experience gives me confidence in her judgment. I know that she’ll make an unbiased selection because she has no financial stake in the decision. It’s the trust factor that is so valuable.”
—Jacksonville Hearing & Balance patient

“I can’t believe people…do without hearing aids.”

“Hearing loss runs in my family, so I knew when I was pretty young that I would probably need hearing aids. I also knew I wanted to go to a doctor’s office to get them fitted, not just some place at the mall. I’m actually on my third set, and each pair has gotten better. The ones I have now are awesome; I can’t live without them. In fact, I can’t believe people are willing to miss out on what they do without hearing aids.”
—Jacksonville Hearing & Balance patient

I would highly recommend JHBI to anyone who is having a chronic balance or vertigo problem

Beth Kinney, 64, of Cocoa, Fla., woke up one morning in October 2003 to a spinning room. She had experienced slight vertigo before when she was younger, but never anything this bad. Each doctor she visited said he couldn’t help her.

Kinney was finally referred to Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute. It took almost three months of treatment, but she was eventually able to go back to work full time and regain most of her hearing.

“The P.A., Judy Nelson, was very comforting and gave me assurance,” Kinney said. “She worked with me for months to get me to be able to function normally.”

Kinney still experiences slight dizziness when she is stressed or lacking sleep, but nothing like before.

“I would highly recommend Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute to anyone who is having a chronic balance or vertigo problem” Kinney said. “When you run into something that is repetitive in its nature, over and over, I would just suggest that you get help and get it quickly.”

And the Winner of Our Hearing Aids Contest Is…

…Sara Clark! Congratulations on winning a set of premium hearing aids!

Scarlett fever damaged her hearing at two years of age. Even though Sara Clark, 46, has been wearing hearing aids for over 30 years, the brand quality has never been strong enough to compensate for her hearing loss. So when Clark heard about JHBI’s hearing aid contest on WOKV radio in June, she called in right away. And as winner of the contest, Clark received a set of premium hearing aids.

“I am very excited about the wireless technology with these,” she said. “I am a project manager in an environment that is varied in noise levels. Being able to hear important details about my projects is critical.”

Clark also received a free hearing aid consultation, which was offered to all contest participants.

“People need to hear to work and function in life,” she said. “It’s the little things one doesn’t hear that can become very big things.”

Patient Testimonial: Cochlear implant saves a deaf & blind man’s hearing

At 25 years old, a brain tumor in the front left of Douglas LaFayette’s brain created optic nerve problems and eventually stole away his eyesight. Over the next several years, LaFayette experienced more tumors in his brain and ears. Eventually, he lost hearing because of a tumor. In June 2009, he woke up deaf.

“I thought I was going to lose my mind,” LaFayette said. “It’s like I was trapped in my body.”

LaFayette, 49, experienced sudden hearing loss in his left ear and lost hearing in his right progressively. LaFayette spent close to a year and a half almost completely blind and deaf. His wife, Janice, had to spell out letters on his hand to communicate. Before hearing about the option of cochlear implants at JHBI, the LaFayette family thought Douglas would be deaf for the rest of his life.

Douglas and his son, Nathaniel

“It’d take an hour to get a five-word sentence across,” Janice said. “He couldn’t write anything because he couldn’t see it. You get to a point where you have grieved the death of that relationship. And then you grieve over what could have been done if all the options had been known. He was trapped and we couldn’t communicate.”

In October 2010, LaFayette underwent surgery to receive a cochlear implant on his left ear. Eventually, he wants to get one in his right as well.

“People really need to know about cochlear implants,” LaFayette said. “I was told too much damage was already done. But I can hear now with my cochlear.”

Everything is different now for the LaFayette family. Douglas can converse on the phone with family he could not speak to for a year and hear his son laughing as he plays.

“It was very hard on a family and trying to raise a child as well,” LaFayette said. “But the best part is being able to hear all the words. Being able to hear ‘I love you’ from my wife. That’s the really cool part, being able to talk on the phone to my family.”

Patient Testimonial: How a Man Kept His Job

A man with a bad cold he just couldn’t shake woke up one morning, answered his cell phone, and realized he was deaf. With 12 percent hearing in his left ear and 78 percent in his right, Leon Woody, 52, knew he would have to do something quickly to maintain his management position at work.

“When I answered my cell phone that morning, I thought I had a bad connection,” Woody said. “Then I realized it was my left ear, not a bad connection. I went to a lot of doctors and they all said they couldn’t do anything for me.”

But Woody came to Dr. Green at JHBI in hopes that there was still a remedy. Dr. Green performed surgery to give Woody a cochlear implant in each ear. It has been three years and Woody cannot say enough about the “amazing instruments” in his ear.

“I couldn’t do it without them. It took a while, but now I can get back in front of groups. I challenged myself to get in front of people and communicate. Without the hearing aids, I couldn’t be working. I don’t know what would have happened.”

After receiving an internal cochlear implant, a patient wears external speech processors. Woody said that if he is not wearing the processors, he cannot hear anything at all. His co-workers do not understand that he truly cannot hear without them. To get his ears used to hearing noises again and understanding pitch and tone, Woody practiced listening to books on tape and music on the radio.

“I can’t say enough about the staff. They’ve done an excellent job working through the issues and making my wife and I feel comfortable and understanding the process.”

Our professional staff is here to help with hearing loss diagnosis and treatment every step of the way.

JHBI Grants Hearing to a Nigerian Professor

For more than 32 years, a mathematics professor in Nigeria had normal hearing. But after three weeks of fever and medication, his hearing became so bad that he could hardly hear a gunshot.

In 2002, Stephen Yaukubu Kutchin woke up one morning with most of his hearing ability gone. A mathematics professor at the University of Jos in Nigeria, Kutchin spent more than five years with limited hearing ability. He frequently asked people to write what they were saying to him and had several uncomfortable encounters with people who did not understand how to interact with a hearing-impaired person. His partial deafness severely limited his ability to teach his classes in a timely matter.

“My social life suffered immensely; I had to stop attending meetings or social gatherings,” Kutchin recalled. “Radio and musical instruments became useless to me. I had to lose many of my friends. Some of them were those who couldn’t write. There was no way for me to communicate directly to those that could not write. Those included the small children. There was no way I could communicate with even sighted people once it was dark. The worst were my students and friends who were blind. I had to keep away from any function that had anything to do with hearing.”

Dr. Green met Kutchin in 2005 through Dr. Joel Anthis, an American ear, nose and throat physician who was working full-time in a Christian missionary hospital in Jos, Nigeria. Dr. Green brought two cochlear implant systems to Nigeria, fitted Kutchin with an implant, and left him in the care of Dr. Anthis.

“Humanly speaking and going by my income; there was no wisdom for me to even dream of ever having such a surgery,” Kutchin said.

However, the wound did not heal properly and the implant was removed. Back at square one, Kutchin thought it was the end of the road for good. But a year later, Dr. Green again traveled to Nigeria and offered Kutchin the chance to visit Jacksonville, Fla., and have cochlear implant surgery free of charge. Kutchin gratefully accepted and spent his time in the United States as a guest of Dr. Green and his family during his period of medical assessments, surgery and healing.

Before the implant surgery, Kutchin suffered from tinnitus, a continuous ringing in the ears. It often spoiled his days and woke him from his sleep. Now back in Nigeria, Kutchin said both his sound perception and speech perception are remarkable.

“My cochlear implantation system has continued to amaze me,” Kutchin stated. “With the device, my sound perception is more than 100 percent normal. The volume of the speech processor can be regulated so I am able to hear sound as audible as I choose to.”

Dr. Green made Kutchin’s visit to the States memorable and allowed him to become part of his family.

“He did so to celebrate the recovery of my hearing since my family could not be around to celebrate with me this life changing event,” Kutchin remarked. “Dr. Green wishes to do more.”

To read the full report written by Stephen Yaukubu Kutchin, please click here.

For information about Hearing Help for Africa, a non-profit organization with the goal of improving ear-related medical conditions for Africans by expanding medical education opportunities for African physicians, please click here.

Patient Testimonial: BAHA treatment for former NJ policeman

It was mid-morning when a former New Jersey policeman found himself being dragged by his left arm through a window of a car down a narrow street. He was simply trying to ticket the driver; instead, he found himself fighting for his arm and his life.

This incident, along with a history of multiple ear infections, led to mixed hearing loss and severe damage to his ears. After five years of numerous surgeries in various hospitals across the country, Gilsenan, 63, now has an osseointegrated sound processor (bone anchored hearing aid or BAHA) in both ears and can finally hear again. He credits it all to JHBI.

“Dr. Green is a unique man. He is dedicated to people. He takes his time. His mannerism is so gentle, yet his knowledge is so massive,” Gilsenan said.

Gilsenan, of East Orange, NJ, was one of the first patients in Jacksonville to receive the BAHA treatment, which Gilsenan said seems to stop the effects of tinnitus. The BAHA system uses the body’s natural ability to conduct sound through bone. The BAHA sound processors are implanted through osseointegration, which is the process of the bone growing up to the implant surface (similar to a dental implant).

“I’ve never met a doctor who so greatly wanted to help people,” Gilsenan said. “He finds a way. I just know he’s going to take care of me because of the principles he carries.”

JHBI is pleased to offer the BAHA implant to treat hearing loss. Our professional staff is experienced in the medical and surgical treatment of auditory problems.