In the poorest villages on the island of Fiji, where healthcare is not readily available, Doug Wesson – owner and founder of Wesson Hearing Aid Center – and a band of hearing healthcare professionals from all over the U.S. set out on a mission to test the hearing, clean wax from ears as needed and fit hearing aids on as many children and adults as possible within a three-day period of time.
During the last week of October, in Sautabu Village, over 400 hundred hearing tests were conducted and nearly 300 hearing aids were fit, programmed and delivered to villagers who needed them at no charge. The hearing aids were donated by Oticon, one of the world’s leading hearing aid manufacturers and their hearing foundation’s People First humanitarian outreach philosophy.
Wesson, an Audioprosthologist, himself is a hearing aid wearer who knows and appreciates firsthand what it is like to lose the ability to communicate with family and friends and the enrichment that properly fitted hearing aids can do to restore an individual’s life and wellbeing.
“The people of Fiji are wonderful, loving and gracious people who love their country and their heritage,” Wesson said. “I have been to several third world countries on mission trips over many years. I must say that the Fijian people were the most hospitable people I have encountered. Their villages are generational and respect of family is paramount. The children were very respectful and did not beg or cling on us as is the custom in other third world countries.
“Each person we treated for hearing services were so appreciative to be able to hear, and some, for the very first time. Tears were abundant from both sides of the table. It was a wonderful experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Giving back to those who can never repay you is truly the best experience.”
Wesson said he looks forward to returning in the future and continuing to serve others at home and on foreign soil.
“It’s in my DNA and I am so thankful I had the opportunity to serve in this capacity,” he said.
Wesson Hearing Aid Center has been providing prompt, courteous and professional hearing healthcare since 1979. They have four convenient locations – Oakdale, Manteca, Tracy and Ripon. The Oakdale office is at 250 S. Oak Ave., Suite A4.
As part of their ongoing commitment to giving back to the local community, Wesson Hearing Aid Center provides a public service through their Hearing Wellness Program in which they provide free baseline hearing screenings to anyone 50 years or older. If you or a family member have not had a baseline hearing screening or are experiencing difficulty in hearing or communicating, you are invited to call their office to set an appointment at one of their four locations. Appointments can be made by calling 209-823-2107.