Disabled, elderly Kingsland woman receives gift of hearing due to Estes donation

Nathan Hendrix/The Highlander
Dolores Kasper (center) poses for a photo with Estes Audiology staff (from left) Rayleen Nelson, Dr. Katherine Sonnamaker, Tricia Hastings and Dr. Jacob Keup after receiving her new hearing aids.




By Nathan Hendrix
Staff Writer

One Hill Country resident is able to hear life with a little more clarity after a generous gift from a local business.

Dolores Kasper, 88, of Kingsland received a free pair of Phonak Bolero B90-SP hearing aids from Estes Audiology on Tuesday, Jan. 22 as part of the company's gift of hearing program.

“These are top-of-the-line,” said Tricia Hastings, patient care coordinator at Estes. “They are strong enough to fit the severity of her hearing loss.”

Kasper is a retired small business owner who now lives alone in Kingsland; she has been a patient with Estes for over five years. She is blind and wheelchair-bound, but still finds joy in life. Throughout the entire appointment with Dr. Katherine Sonnamaker, Kasper told jokes and laughed as if nothing ailed her.

“It's so nice to be able to do this for her,” Sonnamaker said. “Hearing is all she has left to connect with the world.”

Kasper has been using hearing aids that are over 10 years old and, according to Dr. Jacob Keup, no longer strong enough to address her hearing loss. The lack of hearing has affected Kasper's ability to enjoy the things she loves in life, including communicating with her two children.

“My son was having a cow at home,” Kasper said. “He couldn't believe I was finally going to get [the new hearing aids].”

Kasper said she has been experiencing difficulties with the old aids for quite some time, and communication with her son has deteriorated because of it.

The new hearing aids will allow her to return to some form of normalcy in life. Kasper said she enjoys crime mysteries and Christian programming on television, talking on the phone with her friends and doing her housework – all activities that she needs to hear to fully enjoy.

“She's never asked for a thing,” said Joyce Fox, Kasper's daughter. “She can still do more than most people.”

Kasper was nominated to receive the hearing aids by Hastings and was approved to receive the new aids – valued at $6,900 – by only paying limited fees. The fees were paid by Kasper's children and by a donation from a local church.

Sonnamaker scheduled a follow-up appointment for Kasper in two weeks to determine is additional adjustments need to be made to the settings of the aids or the molds that fit in her ear. The molds are custom-made for each patient but can require adjusting after a trial period.

“We're so happy,” Fox said. “She's needed it for a long time.”

Fox joked that the only potential downside to her mother having new hearing aids may be that they have to watch what they say around her now.

“No more secrets,” Kasper said with a laugh.

Estes Audiology is located at 304-B Highlander Circle in Marble Falls and online at HearLifeAgain.com.

Send the staff writer a note at nathan@highlandernews.com.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet