“Hearing better with a Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid has massively helped my life positively every day.”
Austin’s Hearing Loss Journey
Austin was born with LVAS (Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome). From the ages of 1 to 4, he suffered from many ear infections. At 4 years old, his parents began to notice how often he couldn’t hear them and asked them, “what?” They also noticed he began sitting closer to the TV in order to hear it. They then decided to be proactive and take action to get him tested. He was diagnosed with Sensorineural Hearing Loss and about 6 months later, his hearing got drastically worse. Today, Austin wears a cochlear implant in his right ear and a BTE hearing aid in his left ear.
Importance of Hearing Better
Since he was so young when he received his hearing devices, Austin doesn’t remember a time before them. He is grateful for his hearing aid and cochlear implant because they positively affect his life every day. Being able to hear better has benefited him both academically and athletically. Hearing better has actually allowed Austin to become a more attentive and focused listener. In order to be successful in school, he advocates for special accommodations in the classroom. He makes sure he has preferential seating and a basic understanding with his professors that some things need to be written down.
Austin is a Division I tennis player at Monmouth University. He is grateful he is able to hear while on the court. In 2019, his team won the MAAC Conference Championship that sent them to the Division I NCAA national tournament.
Why Austin is a HearStrong Champion:
Austin is a HearStrong Champion because he is dedicated to helping others and always keeps a positive attitude. He strives to prove to others that his hearing loss is not a disability. Austin’s positive and courageous attitude toward his hearing loss makes him an incredible role model. He doesn’t let his hearing loss hold him back from anything he sets his mind to. In high school, he was told that he shouldn’t take a foreign language because of his hearing loss. Knowing what he was capable of and despite what he was told, he went on to receive an “A” all three years of taking Latin.
He gives back to his community by voluntarily teaching tennis to underprivileged kids for the last six years. As an avid runner, he started a social media account to inspire others to stay active. Austin wants to encourage others who think they may have a hearing loss to get their hearing tested and wants them to know there is nothing to be afraid of.
“Understanding how each individual can best communicate begins with a hearing test.”