Hearing Device Recipients No Longer Hear the Sound of Silence


To more than 300 million people across the world, silence is not golden.

That’s the number of people who have disabled hearing loss, with 97 percent unable to afford a hearing device. Partnering with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, Palomar Health and Chief Audiologist Dr. David Illich are collecting used hearing devices to change people’s lives all over the world. People like Silvia who is about to become the first hearing impaired architect in El Salvador.

Silvia was born with profound hearing loss and wasn’t able to lead a normal life. At age seven she was fitted with donated hearing aids from the Starkey Hearing Foundation and it opened up a whole new world of possibilities. 

Silvia says of those who have supported her with hearing aids for the past 20 years, “You have made my dreams a reality.”

The Yactayo Cortez family from Lima, Peru had never heard each other’s voices. Father Cesar, mother Flora, and children Tatiana and Dagner were all born deaf. They lived in a home for deaf people. After receiving donated hearing devices they were able to hear each other for the first time.

“They are like newborn babies with sound,” said the co-founder of the Foundation.

Last year the Palomar Health community donated 87 devices at Palomar Medical Centers Escondido, Downtown Escondido, and Poway. This year the goal is to collect more than 100.

Since 2010, Dr. Illich and other volunteer audiologists have repurposed more than 850,000 used hearing devices to bring the gift of sound to people like Silvia and the Yactayo Cortez family, profoundly impacting the lives of people all over the world.

“It is a euphoric feeling to give someone the gift of hearing,” said Dr. Illich. “It can change a family’s quality of life for generations.”

If you or someone you know wants to make dreams come true, please visit one of our two locations and place the hearing device in the donation box. You will receive a tax deduction receipt for your donation.

Palomar Medical Center Escondido - 2185 Citracado Parkway, Escondido
Palomar Medical Center Poway - 15615 Pomerado Road, Poway

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