PHOENIX — An Arizona audiologist's office gave the gift of hearing to a Marine veteran on Wednesday.
Gerry Ferracane says he has noticed his hearing had deteriorated over the years, but he chose to keep quiet and make do like many veterans his age.
"I'm the type of person who didn't think he needed help from anyone," Ferracane said. "But this last year, it seems to have gotten worse."
HearingLife hosts the "Magic of Hearing Care" holiday campaign every Christmas. Individuals like Ferracane have the opportunity to submit their stories and, if they're lucky, are chosen to receive a free pair of hearing aids.
"One of the things I stressed in my submission was the importance of family. I wasn't really able to hear what my family was saying to me at times," Ferracane said. "Being the type of person I am, I was kind of embarrassed. Even at work, it's kind of the situation that I hate to ask my boss to repeat himself. Ask my wife to repeat herself."
The company heard his plea and made it their mission to improve his life with loved ones. He says anytime he considered getting a pair, it came down to the cost.
"You're looking at anywhere between $3,500 to $6,500 for a pair," Ferracane said. "So, these are obstacles a lot of people are going to go through, and they were for me."
For a man who served his country during the Vietnam War, it was an obstacle about which HearingLife made sure he'd no longer have to worry.
It didn't take long for the magic to happen at his fitting appointment.
"Oh yeah, that's fantastic," Ferracane said after an audiologist turned on the hearing aid. "I'm extremely grateful. Thank you very, very much. I wish I had done this a lot sooner now."
Ferracane couldn't be more thrilled to show them off to his family. He says his life has changed forever.
"It's clear. I mean it's actually clear," Ferracane said. "I can actually understand every single word that's being said, so that's a miracle that's the way I look at it."
This story was originally published by Cameron Polom on Scripps station KNXV in Phoenix.