Beltone Dispenser Mary Duval, Davenport, IA shared a letter from one of her patients, Robert Van De Voorde. Robert is indeed a Beltone Legend! Here’s his story……
Robert Van De Voorde has been a Beltone hearing aid wearer for over 60 years! Born with a 70% hearing loss in both ears, Robert has struggled for most of his life, but it did not stopped him from achieving success. He did something about his hearing loss which resulted in a successful career and a fulfilling life.
As of September 1, 2015, I have worn Beltone hearing aids for 60 years! Now a little about me….. With my hearing loss, I learned to speak with the 30% hearing I had, although slowly. I went to a one-room schoolhouse for my first seven grades where I had only one teacher each year. During that time, I experienced individualized attention from the teachers as well as learned to read lips. As I got older and being in larger classrooms, my teachers knew my hearing situation, and always looked toward me when they spoke. I got good grades and graduated fairly high in my class.
I felt I wasn’t cut out for college and didn’t prepare for it. I had no college prep courses; I just wanted to go to work. I was able to get a job for the Moline Dispatch as a reporter, but after six weeks, I quit because I couldn’t hear well enough. Later, I worked at the Rock Island Arsenal as a payroll clerk. But due to government cut backs, I was laid off….now what? After talking to friends, I decided to enroll in St. Ambrose College in Davenport, IA. That was a real challenge for me. With classroom being bigger, bad acoustics and most of all the professors never looked at me, they wandered around the classroom. I couldn’t lip read, so I couldn’t ‘hear’. It was then that I knew I needed to do something about my hearing.
I knew that there was a Beltone office in Davenport, so I called and made the appointment. After my hearing test, I was fit with loaner hearing aids. My new set of hearing aids came a few days later. Through the years hearing aids have improved tremendously, they’ve become smaller and smaller with quality improving as well.
I graduated from St. Ambrose with a degree in accounting, ranking seventh in my classes. This was all possible because I could hear with my Beltone hearing aids. I was successful in my career, working 39 years in the field of finance. I also became a CPA and was active in many organizations including president of many of them. Now here’s the best thing of all, I have been happily married to my wife, Betty for 56 years!
Robert Van De Voorde