Category Archives: Customer Stories

Naven thrives with the help of his Ponto 3 and Ear Community

Naven Ramirez, BMA age 5 of the Philippines, receives (2) newly donated Oticon Medical Ponto 3’s on October 6th, 2017

Naven R. Osic is a five-year-old boy from the Philippines who was born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia. After learning that her son was born missing both his ears, Naven’s mother Donna, worried about how he would adjust to life and what impact this hearing loss would have on him. As Naven got older and began attending a daycare school, he struggled to hear his teachers, keep up with lessons, and make friends.

Donna decided to take action and meet with an ENT at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) where she received heartbreaking news – without the appropriate hearing device, Naven’s speech, and hearing would continue to decline and he would continue to struggle socially and academically. Further testing showed that Naven had moderate to severe conductive hearing loss and would need bilateral bone conduction devices to help him hear.

Seeking assistance, Naven’s audiologists reached out to Ear Community and on October 6, 2017 he was fitted with two brand new Oticon Medical Ponto 3 hearing devices, donated through Ear Community. Naven now has the auditory tools he needs to thrive and hear his best. 

Naven now is very happy, he clearly hear(s) what we are saying. He can easily keep up (with) the lesson when he is at school – Donna

To read the full story, visit Ear Community and learn more.

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Learn how Heidi Jeffs chose the Ponto 3 for her daughter Rosalee and became an advocate in the hearing loss community

We hear time and time again from parents of Ponto users that doing research into all the hearing options available is the best way to make the most informed decision. For Heidi Jeffs, research into different hearing groups is what led her to not only find the best hearing solution for her five-year-old daughter Rosalee but become an advocate in the hearing loss community.

Rosalee was born with microtia and atresia on her left side and fit with a bone anchored hearing device on a soft band given to her by her audiologist.

“We met with our audiologist and wanted her to have a device. We didn’t know any different or know of other options.”

Shortly after, Heidi learned about Ear Community, a non-profit organization that offers a supportive community for individuals born with microtia and atresia, and other varying degrees of hearing loss.

The community, which was started by Melissa Tumblin whose daughter Ally was born with microtia and atresia, provides support through their online Facebook group as well as annual picnics around the country.

Through her involvement with Ear Community, Heidi began meeting other parents and bone anchored hearing system (BAHS) users and found that feedback was a common issue.

“We were having a lot of feedback issues. Some moms were commiserating about it and then there was one mom whose daughter had bilateral Pontos and she was like ‘what are you guys talking about?’ The woman said her daughter could lay on a pillow with her Pontos on and it wouldn’t squeal. So I started looking into the Ponto devices.”

The Ear Community picnics were where Heidi became familiar with Oticon Medical and her daughter was able to try on a Ponto device for the first time.

“It didn’t sound echoey. It was just clear. I was flat out convinced. Then the more and more that I learned about the company I was even more impressed. It really felt like Oticon Medical stood by their motto ‘People First’.”

When it was time for Rosalee to upgrade, she tested the Ponto 3 on a softband and said yes to switching to the Ponto. Heidi notes that before, it was difficult to get Rosalee to wear her device, but since switching she hasn’t complained once about the softband being uncomfortable or sore, making the transition very easy and enjoyable.

“Between the quality of products and the integrity of the company, it is so far above the others out there.

Since beginning this hearing care journey with her daughter, Heidi has served on the board of Ear Community for three years and is now a full-time staff member. Additionally, she served on the board for the Idaho Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and was chosen as a parent representative for Idaho to attend the EHDI conference – an early hearing detection and intervention event. To all parents looking to learn about hearing options for themselves or their child with hearing loss, she recommends trying all your options, on your child and yourself, to help you make the best decision for your family.

 

Are you interested in learning about the Ponto 3 SuperPower and how it can provide early support for children and adults with hearing loss? Click below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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“I kindly demanded an upgrade” – How Jillian, Hazel’s mother, advocated for Hazel to get a Ponto 3 SuperPower

Hazel Shelton was born with bilateral Microtia and moderate mixed hearing loss. She was unaided until she was 18 months and adopted by the Shelton family. After trying a number of hearing devices and experiencing issues with feedback, her mother Jillian decided to conduct her own research and become an advocate for her daughter.

She began speaking to other bone anchored hearing system users online and in a number of Facebook groups which is where she learned about the Ponto 3 SuperPower.

“I watched a video of a daughter laying in her mother’s arms wearing the Ponto and there was no feedback. I started to look in the Facebook groups and hands down, Ponto won.”

Jillian traveled to California to attend the Earicles Los Angeles Microtia Atresia conference to take her research further. After meeting with a number of doctors and experts, she returned home and “kindly demanded” an upgrade for her daughter.

Hazel has now been using her Ponto 3 SuperPower on a softband for two weeks. In the video below, Jillian demonstrates just how big of a difference her Ponto is making in her life.

“My daughter’s sentences have exploded. Not just one or two words but sentences and she’s only had them on for two weeks! The feedback is not there – when she gives me a hug, sits in her car seat, or wears her hair down. She grabs the Ponto first thing in the morning and wears it until she falls asleep at night. Hands down, Ponto is the way to go.”

If you’d like to learn more about how the Ponto 3 SuperPower can provide early support for children and adults with hearing loss, click below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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Four things I couldn’t hear before my Ponto 3 SuperPower

Since receiving my Ponto 3 SuperPower, walking through life is far more different than I ever could have imagined. It’s often overwhelming to think about all of the different sounds that I can now interpret with ease because of my device.

Below are four of the most noticeable differences in sound that I’ve observed through wearing my Ponto 3 SuperPower.

My own voice:

It may seem silly, but anyone who has worn a Ponto Bone Anchored Hearing System will tell you that the moment they snapped it on, the way they heard their own voices was drastically different. For some, it’s not always the most pleasant surprise. I’ve never been a huge fan of how I sound in recordings that are played back to me, and this sort of sound is how I would describe my voice when listening to it with my Ponto on. Though it may seem jarring at first, it’s really amazing to understand finally how the rest of the world hears you when you speak!

Parts of songs that went unnoticed:

I am a member of a chapel choir at my college, and I tend to sit towards the back of the group with the rest of the men. I’ve always known that our group contained several instrumentalists, but I was never able to fully hear them until now! I have also noticed that I am able to pick apart different aspects of music that I was not able to before. I don’t believe that this is because of an increase in volume, but rather because of an increase in clarity.

Voices in a conference setting:

At school, more often than not, I find myself communicating with me peers in a group setting – a cafeteria, a bustling classroom, a loud dormitory. Before my Ponto, I always had difficulty differentiating voices that were happening all at once. My Ponto helps me not only to separate those voices, but also makes them clearer and more easily understood.

Sounds in nature:

The first time I went on a hike with my Ponto, I was in tears. Turns out, nature is noisy! I have always loved the great outdoors, but the vibrant and amazing sounds were lost to me. With nature, and with everything else, I’ve come to realize that there is so much happening around me that I didn’t know about before I snapped on my Ponto 3 Superpower.

Interested in learning more about our newest Ponto – the Ponto 3 SuperPower? Click the button below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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About the author – Kevin Hotaling

After attending Oticon Medical’s patient advocacy event in 2016, I knew I wanted to take action on my advocacy in a new way. I am in awe of the work that Oticon Medical does, and even more so excited by the ways in which the work is done. I’ve always been very adept in social networking and media and knew I wanted to use my skill set in a professional, progressive and communal environment.

My Ponto 3 SuperPower “Snap Day!”

Since the Ponto 3 SuperPower came out in January, I’ve been itching to get my own. After seeing so many faces of children and adults alike light up after popping their SuperPowers on for the first time, I knew I had to have mine. Recently, that day came for my own ‘snap day’ with my new Ponto 3 SuperPower!

When I got my first Ponto Plus in the summer of my sophomore year of college, the very first sounds that I heard were those of a doctor’s office in Boston. Though that experience was wonderful, I wanted to go the extra mile when I snapped on my Ponto 3 SuperPower for the first time.

A big part of my life in college is singing for the Stonehill College Chapel Choir. Its members are some of the most important people in my life, and I wanted very much to share this experience with them. I have been with them since my freshman year, and now that I am graduating, we are having a lot of ‘lasts’ together. I figured it was about time for another ‘first!” So, the first thing I wanted to hear with my new Ponto was their beautiful voices singing one of our favorite songs; and we got it on camera! Take a look:


To have felt such overwhelming excitement and joy from being able to hear so clearly was remarkable. Every day, I’m astounded by the number of lives that this device has the power to change for the better. I couldn’t be more thankful to the creators of this device; the people who gave my hearing back to me!

 

Want to learn more about the Ponto family of processors? Click the button below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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About the author – Kevin Hotaling

After attending Oticon Medical’s patient advocacy event in 2016, I knew I wanted to take action on my advocacy in a new way. I am in awe of the work that Oticon Medical does, and even more so excited by the ways in which the work is done. I’ve always been very adept in social networking and media and knew I wanted to use my skill set in a professional, progressive and communal environment.

 

The Journey to the Best Hearing in the Classroom

Many of our Ponto users who are children have experienced positive change, particularly in the classroom. If you’re considering aiding your child with a hearing device it’s important to understand how louder environments, like classrooms or playgrounds, can affect a hearing device.

Melissa Tumblin, founder of Ear Community, whose daughter Ally is a Ponto user shares some great insight on setting your child up for success in the classroom.

Ally Tumblin wearing her Ponto Plus on a Softband

Ally has a severe hearing loss in her right ear (65dB-70dB). She was tested at a 65dB hearing
loss yesterday. Ally was tested while wearing her BAHS (Ponto Plus) made by Oticon Medical in the booth and her hearing with the hearing device is brought back up to the normal hearing range (between 15dB to 20dB)….which has been the norm for us over the years with her testing and Ponto.

However, this time the audiologist chose to include noise interference in the sound booth – lots of background noise to see how well Ally could hear and covered her mouth when saying words and sentences to Ally, asking her to repeat them back to her. Well, even when aided, her hearing dropped to 56% (when it was in the normal hearing range without background noise) because of all of the noise. But then, the audiologist added Ally’s FM system back in and also removed the card from her mouth so Ally could see her lips when she spoke to her and her hearing response went back up to 96%! (which is great!)

So, the lesson learned here for those of you who are considering aiding your child (or yourself) with a hearing device is that hearing devices help amplify sound and help make things louder, so you can hear better. When extra noise is added to your daily activities, it can still be difficult to hear everything. However, when you combine an FM system (such as to help your child hear better in the school classroom), and your child is being taught how to be a “visual” learner and be aware to always be looking, watching and reading lips, then together….all of these things help optimize your child’s maximum potential to hear his/her very best.

I see such a difference with her and her Ponto, every day! Thank you Oticon Medical! Thank you for helping my daughter hear her best with her Ponto Plus!

Want to learn more about our newest addition to the Ponto family of processors? Click the button below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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“We’re Just Trying To Do What’s Best for Him” – A Parent’s Perspective

Davin is 8 years old and was born with bilateral microtia and atresia. In the video below, Davin and his mother, Shannon Gordon, talk about his hearing journey with his Ponto’s and their experience with the new Ponto 3 SuperPower.

“Davin’s hearing is one of the most important things in our life and we’re just trying to do what’s best for him.” – Shannon

Interested in learning more about the Ponto 3 SuperPower? Click the button below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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The Gift of Hearing Travels to Africa

We’d like to introduce you to someone very special!

Meet Raheeg Abdelrahman, a four-year-old girl living in Sudan with her younger twin siblings, her mother, and her father, Eltahir.

Raheeg was born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia, and when her family couldn’t find a suitable hearing device in Sudan, they traveled to Egypt to meet with an audiologist who they hoped could help them find a solution. Unfortunately, the family was unable to find an affordable solution and were forced to return home without a device for Raheeg.

That’s when we heard about Raheeg and her family through our friends at the Ear Community and partnered with them to provide two Oticon Medical Ponto Plus hearing devices for her.

The devices were sent to Egypt where Raheeg was fitted with her devices with great results:

 “She can answer our call easily and surely this will help her to receive her lessons like other kids…it is difficult to get words to express my thanks but I say God bless you!

Please convey my deepest heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of Oticon Medical staff for the help and support they provide to everybody in our Ear Community, and special thanks for Mr. Alan Raffauf, Tove Rosenbom, and Claus Frees Horneman…THANKS to YOU dear friends for giving me hope that my daughter can go to school, hearing sounds and practice her life like other kids.  Thank you for making my impossible dream become real!”

– Eltahir Abdelrahman

We’re honored to have had the opportunity to help provide the gift of hearing to another individual with hearing loss and are thankful for our friends at the Ear Community for sharing Raheeg’s story with us!

If you’d like to learn more about Raheeg and Microtia and Atresia, the Ear Community blog is a great resource!

Superhero Praise for the Ponto 3 SuperPower

davin

We first met Shannon and her son Davin after she posted a video of him wearing his Ponto Pluses on abutments for the first time.

It was so loud and I loved it! – Davin

 

 

 

At the Oticon Medical Patient Advocacy Workshop Davin was able to try our upcoming product, the Ponto 3 SuperPower. His mom said, “He didn’t want to give it back,” and in the video below, Davin shares his experience with his dad:

 

Shannon also shared the experience she and Davin had attending the Oticon Medical Patient Advocacy Workshop:

Over 8 1/2 years ago Davin was born, a day that was supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life…wasn’t, it was the scariest….as some of you know, we had such a traumatic delivery and as a result, he was born unconscious. After he finally started to cry they brought him to us. We were told he didn’t have ears or ear canals, he was deaf and would NEVER hear, he would be a “deaf mute” and NEVER talk, he had a cleft palate….oh then a few hours after he was born we were told “I’m sorry but Davin’s skull was fractured during delivery and he needs surgery to lift his skull off of his brain because it is pressing on his brain and hemorrhaging”. Who would’ve thought that the scariest day of my life would bring me such joy over the years.

Because of Davin, over the last 8 1/2 years I have met some of the most amazing people that I never would have ever had the privilege of meeting. This past weekend was one of those times. We were invited to the Oticon Medical Patient Advocacy Workshop. What an experience. I learned a whole lot, was finally able to meet some of my friends and part of my support system in person, along with making new friends who get it. Davin had the opportunity to try out the newest device that’s not even available yet. He was able to meet and hang out with other people, of all ages, who wear the same hearing devices as him, making new friends. The smile on his face and joy he expressed was one of the best experiences I have ever had. It was such an amazing experience for him…and me. I cried many tears, laughed a lot and had such a great time.

All of this was possible because of the company the makes Davin’s hearing aids. Oticon Medical truly cares!! They are top notch in customer service and are like family. So thankful to have met so many from Oticon and to put faces to names. I am truly blessed and so thankful for this opportunity. Thank you Oticon Medical! You have fans, friends, and family for life here! Love my Ponto Family! 

-Shannon Gordon

Looking to try a Ponto for the first time? Sign up to get more information about the SuperPower here.

Do you already have a Ponto and are interested in upgrading? Here’s where you can learn about our special offer here.

Arkin Gets His Special Moment and Receives Two Ponto Pluses through Ear Community and Oticon Medical Donation

Meet Arkin Silutan Lerio, a 10-month-old boy from the Philippines, born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia. Today, he’s the recipient of two Oticon Medical Ponto Plus sound processors that were donated through the Ear Community Organization.

At three months old, Arkin and his mother experienced a priceless moment—the moment Arkin tried a bone anchored hearing system for the first time. Jhoan, Arkin’s mother, knew from that moment on that her son needed the help of these devices. Just one month earlier she had learned that Arkn had a severe to profound hearing loss in both of his ears. And now, with the device, she was seeing him respond to words and sounds.

However, the family didn’t have medical insurance or the resources to proceed. And many of the medical professionals Arkin saw were not familiar with seeing a child with Microtia and Atresia. But that didn’t stop Jhoan for working to find answers, so she went online to research.

In her research she found the Ear Community Organization and applied for Ear Community’s hearing device donation program.

On August 15, 2016, Arkin proudly received two newly donated Oticon Medical Ponto Plus bone anchored hearing devices and the Oticon Medical Streamer from Oticon Medical that were donated through the Ear Community Organization.

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“Many people helped Arkin along the way in order for him to receive his new hearing devices. A special thank you to Izovelle ‘Icee’ Piedad (audiologist with Philiear Inc.) for helping donate her time to fit and program Arkin’s new Ponto Plus hearing devices! Thank you also to Gabe Murphy, who wanted to give back to the Microtia and Atresia community and help a child hear better. Gabe organized a 5k race fundraiser event in Preston, Idaho for his senior class project. Some of the funds that were raised went toward paying for the shipping of Arkin’s hearing device,” Melissa Tumblin, founder of Ear Community explained.

“Jhoan says that Arkin is already hearing better and that he is mimicking sounds. She says that Arkin is already making new sounds and babbling more! Arkin also has a new friend, his monkey that he has decided to call “Otty” that came from Oticon Medical with his gift of hearing.”

Are you interested in learning more about the Oticon Medical Ponto for yourself or your child? We’d be happy to connect with you an audiologist in your area: click below and let us know!


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You can read Arkin’s story on the Ear Community website here as well.