Sister Act

Hearing clearly enriches women’s lives.

Leila Dean and Merle Godbold are sisters, and like most sisters, they’re close and have many traits in common. One characteristic the Washington, DC natives share, unfortunately, is a deteriorating hearing loss. By late 2018, Leila’s and Merle’s hearing losses had just about reached their nadir.

Sisters Merle Godbold and Leila Dean are satisfied and happy with the hearing aids and service they received from Kelly Hansen, AuD, and Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD, of Trinity Hearing & Balance Center in New Port Richey.

Leila Dean

“I could hardly hear what anyone was saying,” shares Leila, a retired Avon® representative. “It sounded like everyone was mumbling, and I had to have the television volume up so high that everyone complained about it being so loud.

“My hearing got progressively worse over time, and it got to the point when I was always asking people, I’m sorry, what did you say? My family was getting very frustrated with me. It wasn’t any fun not being able to hear what they were saying.”

Merle was experiencing similar difficulties. However, since she was only having trouble hearing some things, she blamed it on the people speaking or the situation. She didn’t really believe she had a hearing loss.

“I noticed I wasn’t hearing what certain people, not everybody, were saying, and I would have to say, What was that? or Say that again,” the former home health worker and mother of four reports. “My sister was the hardest person to understand because she’s so soft-spoken.

“On TV, I enjoy watching Wheel of Fortune, and I couldn’t distinguish between the letters P and T, and other, similar-sounding letters. I’d always think it was one letter, and it would be one of the others.”

Leila considered hearing aids a few years ago and asked her primary care physician for the name of an experienced and trustworthy hearing center. The physician gave her the business card of Kelly Hansen, AuD, at Trinity Hearing & Balance Center. Leila didn’t move forward with hearing aids at that time, but she kept the business card.

“I held onto that card and felt very comfortable knowing that whenever I decided to do something about my hearing, Trinity Hearing and Balance Center was where I was going to go,” relates Leila, who finally scheduled a hearing screening in November.

“I told my sister I thought she needed hearing aids, so when I made the appointment, I asked her if she wanted to go with me to get a screening test, too,” Leila remembers. “She said, Sure.”

Guidance Counselors

“Leila and Merle initially came in for a consultation to meet us and talk about their hearing loss,” recalls Dr. Hansen. “We did a screening and neither one passed. They were so funny, joking about who had worse hearing. Once they failed the screening, they came back for a complete hearing evaluation. We determined then that they both needed hearing aids, and they proceeded with that recommendation.”

Dr. Hansen and her colleague, Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD, worked as a team with Leila and Merle to guide them through the hearing aid selection process. The doctors counseled them on the best products for their specific hearing losses as well as their lifestyles and preferences.

“Dr. Goldowski-Richa performed my hearing test, and she was the person who gave me suggestions on which hearing aid to choose,” Leila states. “I could choose a model with batteries I’d have to replace or one with rechargeable batteries. I opted for the rechargeable.”

It wasn’t sister telepathy but past experience that made Merle also choose a rechargeable model of hearing aid.

“When I did home health, I changed the batteries in my patients’ hearing aids, so I know how bothersome that can be,” Merle offers. “I told Dr. Hansen I wanted hearings aids that don’t need batteries because batteries don’t last long.

“And before going to Trinity, the only hearing aids I ever remember seeing were the big, bulky type of hearing aids. But then Dr. Hansen mentioned that she wears hearing aids herself, and she took one out and showed it to me. It fit nicely in her ear and wasn’t noticeable, and when I saw that, I said, That’s what I want, so that’s what she ordered for me.”

Expertise Measured

It’s Trinity Hearing & Balance Center’s philosophy and dedication to patient care that set it apart from other hearing centers.

“Trinity Hearing and Balance Center is proud to be an AudigyCertified™ practice,” declares Dr. Hansen. “We are one of only two hundred and fifty clinics in the nation to hold this certification.

“AudigyCertified professionals are among the country’s most experienced hearing care professionals, its members possessing some of the industry’s highest credentials. Our expertise is measured by our commitment to patient satisfaction, continuing education and the expert application of current technologies.

Sisters Merle Godbold and Leila Dean are satisfied and happy with the hearing aids and service they received from Kelly Hansen, AuD, and Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD, of Trinity Hearing & Balance Center in New Port Richey.

Merle Godbold

“We work side by side with our patients to help find a solution to their hearing problems,” continues Dr. Hansen. “Many patients who have gone through our Patient for Life® program experience greater satisfaction with their hearing technology and a greater quality of life.”

More Than Satisfied

Once Leila and Merle got their hearing aids, a world of sound opened up to them. They can hear clearly now, and those situations in which it was difficult to hear are no longer problems for them. Both say they are more than satisfied with their choices.

“With my hearing aids, I can hear everyone talking and understand what they’re saying,” Leila enthuses. “They don’t have to repeat themselves, and that for me is just wonderful. I have a fairly large family, and before when we were all together, it seemed like total chaos to me with everybody talking.

“Now, I push a button on my hearing aids for crowd, and it makes all the difference in the world. I love my hearing aids, and everybody is so excited for me.”

“Now that I have hearing aids, I realize how much I wasn’t hearing before,” Merle admits. “Now, I can hear everything more clearly. And they’re very comfortable; I don’t even know they’re in my ears.

“It’s wonderful watching Wheel of Fortune now. They started showing the letters people ask for, but with my hearing aids, I can hear them say the letters as well.”

Leila and Merle share their thoughts, and they both have a positive opinion of Trinity Hearing & Balance Center. Merle found the staff very professional and helpful. She says she’s so pleased that she keeps the center’s phone number handy in case someone she knows needs hearing aids, so she can recommend them.

“My experience at Trinity Hearing and Balance Center was excellent,” Merle comments. “I’m so glad we went there. I really didn’t know anything about hearing aids except what I picked up from my patients in home health. The hearing aids I got from Dr. Hansen are just so simple. They make my life more pleasant.”

“Trinity Hearing and Balance Center is a miracle office,” Leila adds. “I’ve never been in an office where everyone is so friendly and outgoing and treats me like they’ve known me for years. It’s just a great place to go. I absolutely recommend them.”

Print This Article
    • Trinity Hearing & Balance Center

      Trinity Hearing & Balance Center utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of many different types of dizziness and balance disorders. You no longer have to "learn to live" with it. The great news is that diz... Read More

    • Kelly Hansen

      Dr. Kelly Hansen obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and her Doctorate of Audiology degree from Arizona School of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona.  Throughout her career, Dr. Hans... Read More

    • Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD

      Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech and hearing in 2011 from Cleveland State University and her Doctorate of Audiology degree from the University of Louisville in 2015. She recently completed her clinica... Read More