There were many high points while working in a makeshift audiology clinic on Grand Turks last month.
One of our favorite encounters was with a young man named Desjohn, who lost his hearing aids during the 2008 hurricane, and for the last ten years, has had a severely limited hearing.
He discovered our team on the last day of the clinic, but we were able to squeeze him into the patient roster. Desjohn was passionate about having the opportunity to get help and didn’t care about anything except being able to hear.
He told us the greatest challenges he faces have been at work – caring for feral donkeys, which hold a great historical significance on the island. An important part of his job is to answer calls from the community when donkeys are either in trouble or causing it, and he often can’t hear what people are trying to say. He also can’t communicate well with colleagues.
When he gave lectures to children in local classrooms, it has been hard to understand their questions.
Finally, we were able to fit him with new hearing devices, and he was over the moon with happiness! He kept saying how clear everything sounded as he jumped up and down, sent photos to his boss and friends and told everyone how well he could hear.
He proceeded to show us photos of his beloved donkeys and even gave us a tour of the community where we met some. (He has named each one.)
He was so proud of his new hearing aids that he showed everyone we came across. It was rewarding to see someone so excited about hearing again.
Desjohn’s goal now is to go back to school to become a veterinarian.