NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – This Patriot’s Day is one a North Texas Iraq war veteran will never forget. Failed by the VA, he just got back something that his service to his country stole.
Army veteran James Hamrick says after he lost his hearing the VA lost his medical files. He’s struggled to get treatment but on Thursday a new, private organization stepped forward to help.READ MORE: Judge Begins Key Hearing On Boy Scouts Bankruptcy Plan
Hoping it will be the first of many sounds, James and his wife, Chelsea, are looking forward to hearing the heartbeat of their first child.
“I cried the first time I heard it,” Chelsea remembered. “Just to hear the giggles and little things like that… and I’m just scared.” Looking at his wife James said, “…that I’ll miss it.”
Already a veteran, James was recalled to the army after the September 11 attacks. Then, while serving in Iraq he was injured while firing a missile.
“I fired the missile and my world turned upside down,” he remembered painfully. “I couldn’t do anything at all. I literally took two steps and fell. Took two more steps and fell. My ears were bleeding.”
James has suffered from profound hearing loss in his right ear ever since.
The Hamrick’s say the VA lost his medical files, delaying any treatment for years.
But things changed Thursday when for the first time, James sat to be tested for a hearing aid.
Talking about her patient Dr. Naikai Butler, an audiologist with Hearing Services of North Texas, said, “He was starting to feel isolated, and him and his wife were not communicating well.”
Now things have changed for James and Dr. Butler is humbled. “It means a lot to give someone the gift of hearing.”READ MORE: Texas Man Gregory Gabrisch Dies In Hunting Accident In Southwest Colorado
Hearing aids normally start at $2,500 but the new organization “DFW Hearing Solutions” gave one to James free of charge.
Immediately after he was fitted, James sat optimistically and then – “It’s not… wow!” he said and heard excitedly.
While talking and listening he said, “My voice sounds really loud.”
James could hear the difference. After a decade of struggling to make out sounds he’s was now suddenly overwhelmed with them.
Then came the chance to hear a ‘magic’ sound. “Baby heartbeat,” he said smiling. “I an hear it really good. That’s my first son, my first child. So, I obviously want to be there for everything for him.”
James Hamrick’s hearing loss was mostly in the higher frequencies and that is the same range where children’s voices fall. Thankfully Thursday’s events mean he’ll be tuned in to all the sounds his son makes.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
[display-posts category=”news,sports” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]MORE NEWS: Warrant Issued For Dallas Police Officer Jacob Hughes, Accused Of Fabricating Evidence