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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - A LITTLE HELP CAN GO A LONG WAY: David (fourth from left) along with his younger brother and the Starkey MEA team in Armenia during the 'Armenia Hearing Aid Project'. - Supplied photo
The same was the case with his other two brothers - all of them suffered from hearing loss issues.
A Dubai-based company met a waiter by chance at a restaurant in Armenia and changed his life forever.
Starkey Middle East Africa team was on an international volunteering mission called 'Armenia Hearing Aid Project' to address the needs of people with hearing challenges and on the eve of the camp, they were out for dinner when they spotted David Der Vartanian, a 19-year-old Armenian waiter, at the Yerevan restaurant. David was seen having hearing difficulties as he had to ask customers to repeat their orders multiple times. The Starkey team took note and invited him to attend the camp.
David, who was born with moderate to severe hearing loss, showed up the next day with his younger brother who was also suffering from similar challenges. The same was the case with his other two brothers - all of them suffered from hearing loss issues.
The teenager said he had tried several hearing devices but none helped. When the Starkey team checked his hearing aid, they found that he was wearing just one device and had a bad ear-mold that was uncomfortable.
"David went through the screening, otoscopy, hearing test, ear-mold fittings, hearing aid fitting, consultation, and quality checks and the result was fantastic. He got two devices and a supply of batteries for a year. He was also provided with information on the follow-ups with the local team there to support him with any maintenance needs," said Giscard Bechara, managing director, Starkey MEA.
"David expressed his joy and was thankful that he could feel the improvement immediately. After the new devices were fitted, he could hear much better and clearer and loved the sounds around him. This move might have just saved him from his current job and boosted his self-confidence. Both the brothers were thrilled to hear clearer and better than ever before. This volunteering effort from our company is based on our corporate values and supporting people across the globe without discrimination," added Bechara.
David said he has never been to Dubai but after the gift of hearing clearly he received from a Dubai-based company. "I will visit the UAE soon. If it was not for these hearing machines, I would have lost my job and in turn would have to stop my studies too," the grateful teenager said. He is currently finishing his studies in Armenia and working at the restaurant in the evenings to fund his education.
Starkey helped more than 1,500 patients with free hearing care in Armenia during the camp. It regularly hosts multiple hearing campaigns around the world all throughout the year. The team also provides aftercare services too. After the main team finishes their work, there is a trained local team from the community that provides aftercare services and follows up with the new patients.
"Our company uses hearing as a vehicle to build understanding between people and to reflect care to our fellow human beings. We were able to bring happiness and smiles back to the faces of people who have had a poor quality of life and suffered for years due to hearing loss. In 2018, 115,880 patients were served by Starkey and there were 209,452 patients who availed the aftercare services, Bechara added.
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