Read some of our previous winners' stories

Meet Joan Stundon, one of our #Giveback recipients! At 62 years of age, Joan has experienced more suffering than most. She lost her sense of smell and hearing following a brain bleed, necessitating a 7-day stay in a hospital ICU. She’s battled cancer twice and won, and chronic osteoporosis affects her bone strength and stability. Despite these challenges, Joan cares for her husband (who has a disability), her brother (who is wheelchair-bound), and her 5 year old grandchild. Faced with hardship, many of us turn to alcohol, tobacco, chocolate and other vices for consolation – but not Joan. She’s made significant lifestyle changes for improved health to ensure she can continue to care for her family. She’s quit her 40-a-day smoking habit and lost an incredible 5 stone. Joan misses the everyday sounds that we take for granted and can’t afford to buy hearing aids. When her son Jeffrey told us about his mum and asked for our help, we felt compelled to oblige. It’s a pleasure to give the #GiftOfHearing to this remarkable lady, who spends her life caring for others.

Louis Moore

20-year-old Louis Moore has suffered from hearing loss for as long as he can remember. His earliest memories of hearing loss are from primary school. He would always sit towards the front of the class and had to face his good ear to the teacher which meant that it was difficult for him to read the board. Louis grew tired of asking people to repeat themselves constantly. Louis’s mother recommended hearing aids, but Louis was terrified of the stigma associated with them. Louis is now studying medicine in college. Louis loves listening to music but removing his hearing aids to insert earphones makes losing them a real concern. Louis’s new Oticon More hearing aids have in-built Bluetooth technology which allows a seamless connection between the aids and smart devices. Plus they are so small he is not conscious anymore!

Grainne Hines

Congratulations to Gráinne Hines - a very worthy Gift of Hearing winner. Gráinne is committed to giving back to her local community and is keenly involved with her local Active Retirement Group. Gráinne’s hearing loss impacted her ability to take part in the group's Zoom calls during Lockdown and severely impacted her ability to effectively promote the work that her organisation does on local radio.  Gráinne's new state-of-the-art hearing aids will help her to get her life back on track. Oticon hearing aids contain high-spec technology that allows the user to connect their hearing aids to their smart phone, tablet, laptop or tv and sound can be streamed directly to the ear. Social settings and phone calls will be handled with ease with the Oticon's background noise reducing feature. And the best part is they’re rechargeable!  

Barry Philpott

Barry Philpott thought he was losing his mind when his hearing aids vanished from their charger overnight. It turned out that Barry had a pesky little mouse in his house who loved chewing on his hearing aid speakers! After Barry's daughter got in touch with us, we decided that Barry was a worthy Gift of Hearing recipient. Barry received a pair of our revolutionary world-leading, rechargeable, Oticon More hearing aids. The Oticon range are equipped with brain-hearing technology and have a variety of settings which enable people to focus more intently on the sounds that they want to hear by drowning out background noise. They also have many other high-tech settings, including a Bluetooth setting that connect straight to your phone. Hearing aids no longer require batteries and they are so small that you can hardly see them.

Úna Walsh

Fourteen-year-old Úna Walsh struck a chord with millions of TV viewers when she performed ‘A Million Dreams’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’ on her harp during this year’s Late Late Toy Show. Úna and her mum Barbara attended our Wexford clinic yesterday to get the young musician fitted with some new Oticon More hearing aids by local audiologist Stephen Kelly. Oticon aids have world class hearing technology, with advanced Bluetooth device that supports how the brain naturally works. This allows wearers to experience a full and rich sound scene with complete clarity. Úna's new rechargeable aids also have a Connect Clip that she can use in her classroom in school which adds to their effectiveness and efficiency. We hope you love them Úna!

Paddy Conaghan

Paddy Conaghan took on a remarkable challenge last December by taking a dip and a dive in every beach in Ireland in aid of mental health service - Gemma's Legacy of Hope. While the Arranmore Island native was rising to the challenge and raising funds for this worthy cause, he lost his hearing aids! Hidden Hearing's Galway branch came to the rescue, thanks to their Clinic Coordinator Aoife. Paddy was given the Gift of Hearing just in time for Christmas!

Patrick Lardner

We are delighted to give Patrick Lardner the #GiftOfHearing. Patrick J. Lardner is a hardworking, selfless dad, who has always put his family first. Having struggled with hearing loss for more than 20 years, he prioritised his children's needs above his own. In retirement, he lives a simple life, devoid of the comforts and trappings of wealth and the luxury of sound. When Patrick's daughter Sinead asked us to consider her amazing dad for the #GiftOfHearing, we were delighted to oblige. It is our absolute pleasure to gift Patrick state-of-the-art hearing aids in recognition of the many sacrifices he's made in life. He is a true hero to his children, and we hope these new hearing aids will help him hear their heartfelt voices of appreciation. We wish Patrick and his family health and happiness and would like to thank Sinead for sharing her dad's story with us.

Brenda Billington

2020 was a busy year for hospital workers, who braved the frontline to ensure vulnerable people received the vital care they needed during a most challenging time. Midwife Brenda Billington is one of our healthcare heroes. Putting aside concerns for her personal safety, Brenda continued working at the Rotunda Hospital during the lockdown, helping countless young couples to bring new life to the world. This selfless woman was, and continues to be, an amazing support and comfort to worried parents, colleagues, and everyone that she encounters. One would be forgiven for thinking that Brenda’s sunny disposition denotes a carefree life. Truth be told, the last year has brought ill health to Brenda’s parents and parents-in-law, and placed considerable stress on her family. She’s juggled her career, family life and caring for her elders, and takes it all in her stride. She gives so much of herself to everyone, that there’s no time for self-care. Brenda’s husband, Kevin, wrote to us, explaining that she suffered hearing loss following a diving accident and that her hearing ability is deteriorating. He asked us if we would consider her for the #GiftOfHearing because she “hasn’t had the time to pursue treatment”.

Liam Hayden

Deirdre Whelan nominated her father, Liam, for the #GiftOfHearing. Liam, who is 88, has overcome some serious health issues, including a stroke and triple by-pass, and he’s had a pacemaker installed. Despite health challenges, Liam is the sole carer of his wife, Margaret. He cooks, cleans, shops and washes, and cooks three meals a day for his beloved wife. His children make daily zoom calls to check in on their parents; however, Liam's struggling to hear their voices. He’s also having trouble hearing the TV and Radio and the voice of Luke O’Neil, who Deirdre describes as “his new best friend.” To compound matters, Liam has macular degeneration, which threatens his vision, and requires frequent eye injections.  As his vision is deteriorating, his ability to hear is more important than ever. This brave and resilient man is genuinely deserving of our help and the #GiftOfHearing. Liam is now wearing new state-of-the-art hearing aids, and we hope that they will help him to connect with his family, hear his favourite TV programmes and listen to the voice of his new best friend.

Yvonne Heather Johnston

The phone has become a lifeline for many older people during the pandemic, especially those who live alone. Charlotte Pollock contacted Hidden Hearing to ask if we could help her partner's mother, Yvonne, who lives alone and struggles to hear. Yvonne wears hearing aids; however, they're old and are not working very well. Charlotte explained that new hearing aids would make an enormous difference to Yvonne's world, helping her to hear her family when they call to check up on her and enabling her to talk to her granddaughter, who she misses most of all. How could we refuse? We were delighted to give Yvonne the #GiftOfHearing and we're glad to report that, since being fitted with new free state-of-the-art hearing aids, Yvonne is never off the phone!

Kris Byrne

Kris, a young adult with lifelong hearing loss, lives in assisted accommodation and attends a special needs school. He is reliant on hearing aids. His parents, who are both ill themselves, could not afford to replace them when they broke. Unable to communicate with family and friends and struggling in his living environment, Covid-related travel restrictions and school closures further compounded Kris’s sense of isolation.  Rose Multaney, a senior audiologist at the Portlaoise Hidden Hearing Clinic, recognised Kris’s challenges. Knowing that he would have a long wait for HSE Services, she recommended him for the #GiftOfHearing. We are delighted to provide Kris with free state-of-the-art hearing aids, and we hope that these new hearing aids will help him keep in touch with his parents, family and friends.