Kunming, Chuxiong, Dali, Lijiang
October 2014 China
From Kunming to Chuxiong to Dali to Lijiang, with each stop word spread throughout the province that we were changing lives with the gift of hearing. We had organized transportation for all of our pre-registered patients, but walk-in patients began traveling from hundreds of miles, often for days and on foot, to reach us. One father traveled from his mountain village home where he works as a sheepherder to bring his 10-year-old daughter, Longli, hoping we could help her. Longli was born with hearing loss, and due to the limited resources in her community, her school was unable to accommodate her. Therefore, she never had the opportunity to go to school. In spite of this, Longli learned to write her name and taught herself to read lips. As soon as Tani Austin met her, she knew Longli was capable of so much more. Tani helped to give her the gift of hearing and then promptly secured a promise from Longli’s father that he would enroll her in school.
As the team was wrapping up a successful hearing mission at a farewell dinner hosted by the Chinese government, Bill Austin noticed that the Yijiang Special Education School dance troop performing for the crowd needed hearing aids. As soon as the meal was over, he invited the entire troop back to his hotel room, where he set up shop. Still wearing their formal attire, he and Tani worked late into the night to make sure each student was connected to the world of sound.
Dennis and Leslie Hansen; ON Semiconductor: Gary Alleven, Mark Melvin, David Roy, Rosaline Wong; LTSN: Bridget Hilton, Joe Huff; Madame Siliang Tao, Ron Harper, Patricia Russo, Sabrina Kaestle; Eric Barrett; Todd Pinzuti; Wayne Graetz; Starkey China; Eric N. Hagberg; Mark McClintock; John Miguez
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