A driving passion for us is helping people. We are blessed that ours is a business that is designed to help people – the ability to have improved hearing is a gift and we get to be the ones to deliver that to many people. But, sometimes, it is a bigger gift than we even realize and it is a privilege to get to share a story of just such a gift…
This spring we got to meet Sandy and Joe Spikes – grandparents and Texans through and through. Their story touched our hearts and gave us an opportunity to give back in a way that we knew would make a difference.
Not so many years ago, Sandy and Joe were living a very comfortable and blessed life. As they raised their family and Joe achieved success in the auto sales business, they found they had more than they needed and became cheerful donors to community programs and ministries; resulting in the establishment of a drug clinic and the funding of many missionaries.
Unfortunately, not so long ago, due to circumstances beyond their control, Sandy and Joe fell on hard times and lost their wealth. Imagine their surprise when, despite going to every government, civic and church organization they could think of, they could not find any services that would provide financial assistance to cover even their medical needs as they aged.
When Sandy suddenly experienced severe hearing loss as a result of several brain tumors, she and Joe were virtually desperate for help. A recommendation to contact the Sertoma Foundation turned out to be the best advice they’d received in a long while and led them to us.
Joe’s very frank email to the Sertoma Foundation about their situation and the many challenges they had experienced in finding financial assistance prompted a call from the foundation’s president who told them about a local audiology practice (ours) that was working with the foundation to provide 60 hearing aids to those who could not otherwise afford them.
Talking with Joe and Sandy recently, they shared more of their impression of their experience with us. Joe shared, “The Sertoma Foundation president told me, ‘There are not enough words to describe how I admire this woman’ and he was referring to Lori Cook.”
After so many challenges with getting anyone to help, Joe told us that he was particularly struck not only by our desire to help them, but by the way we helped them. “Lori treated us with dignity and respect,” Joe says. “She told me: ‘God wants us to help like this. This isn’t a hand out. Think of it as a gift from God.’”
On our first appointment with Sandy, both Lori and Dr. Cook examined her. In addition to being able to provide a hearing instrument to help Sandy hear better, Dr. Cook referred her to an ENT/Otolaryngologist because he knew her sudden hearing loss was an indication of an additional problem.
“Dr. Cook said that you don’t just lose hearing overnight without a reason,” Sandy explained. The Spikes already knew that Sandy had three tumors in her head. The specialist recommended by Dr. Cook identified two more.
Sandy reflects on the care that Lori provided during this time: “Lori was understanding and comforting. She has helped us a lot.”
Joe concurred, saying, “We feel our lives have been improved because of Lori and Cook Hearing & Balance. They are very professional people, but it is their human qualities that we most appreciate.”
Although hearing loss is 100% in her left ear, Sandy has found that the hearing instrument we were able to provide for her right ear has made a tremendous difference. Without it, she could not hear at all.
The hearing aid has also been a blessing to Joe as it enables communication with his wife, which was all but lost prior to their visit with us.
Joe told us that he is committed to sharing their experience with others and promoting Lori and Dr. Cook wherever he goes. Because of the difficulties he faced in getting assistance prior to contacting the Sertoma Foundation, he recognizes that many people may not receive honest and respectful care. Joe wants others to know that at Cook Hearing & Balance it’s not just their business that matters – they genuinely care about their patients. And we appreciate his willingness to share their very personal story so that we can reach others who need our help.
ENT, hearing aids, hearing instruments, hearing loss, Otolaryngologist, Sertoma Foundation, sudden hearing loss