Woman hears for first time thanks to Miracle-Ear Foundation

Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 18:22:30-05

MOUNT STERLING, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Mount Sterling woman is able to hear clearly for the first time after receiving hearing aids from the Miracle-Ear Foundation.

Ashley Duty, 26, was born with a rare genetic disorder that caused severe hearing loss. Over the years, Duty worked with doctors to minimize the impact the hearing loss would have on her life. Ultimately too much damage was caused to her ears.

“They said it was hearing aids or nothing,” said Duty.

When Duty turned to look at what that would cost, she said she was overwhelmed.

“It was $4,000 per ear,” said Elsie Cole, Duty’s mother. “You would think that medically they would want you to be able to hear just like they want you to be able to see, but insurance doesn’t cover for you to hear.”

Cole and Duty dedicated months to researching their options despite not having insurance to cover the cost. They came across the Miracle-Ear Foundation in a Facebook advertisement.

“I mean it was either we come here and take the chance or, you know, you just won't ever know,” said Cole. “So I'm glad that we did it because we're here today. She's gonna get the chance to hear.”

The Miracle-Ear Foundation offers free hearing aids to people who qualify for financial aid. It includes free follow-ups, also.

Duty was fitted for her hearing aids on Wednesday. Doctors sat with her to run tests and make sure the sounds weren’t too loud or too soft.

“Going from hearing complete silence to this is exciting,” said Duty.

Melissa Wilson, a hearing care professional with the Miracle-Ear Foundation, ran the tests. She explained Duty’s hearing aids would have several settings to allow and block out as much sound as she’d like depending on the environment.

“She’ll start out at about 80-percent so she’s not overwhelmed,” said Wilson.

Duty will need to do several follow ups in the coming weeks and months to make sure the hearing aids are working properly.