Story By: Michele Wright / CBS 12 News
BOCA RATON, Fla.– Every Friday during our 5 p.m. newscast, CBS 12 is proud to spotlight good people doing extraordinary things for others and our South Florida community. This week we continue by introducing you to a very special group of people making a difference in Boca Raton at Royal Palm Hearing Aid Center. The miracle of hearing caught on camera. And it all started with Sondra Sorkowitz, picking up the phone and reaching out to help.
Sondra Sorkowitz, Licensed Hearing Aid Specialist, Geriatric Care Manager
I was working on my computer for my business. I took a break and turned on the TV and there was CBS 12 and you (Michele) were interviewing Michael.
Michael is homeless in Palm Beach County and has received support from Helping Hands Assistance Program.
Sondra: I thought right away he had deaf speech
Sondra works at Royal Palm Hearing Aid Center in Boca. Owned and operated with her husband Mel since 1985. The entire team specializes in audiology and speech pathology utilizing state-of-the-art digital hearing equipment to help patients.
Sondra: And you asked Michael what would you like to have? It was a Hunger Relief story so I thought he would talk about food. He said I need a job, I want to work and would like to have hearing aids
She jumped out of her chair & called the station.
Sondra: I said I just saw a segment on CBS 12 and it was so great. Michael said he needed hearing aids. And we’re going to give him hearing aids.
Not only did they donate 2 hearing aids to Michael, they gave him so much more. His confidence and his life back. This after feeling isolated and being unable to communicate. Today thanks to the caring staff, he is a new man…his spirits lifted…on his way to a brighter future. Elissa, is a board certified hearing aid specialist.
Elissa Sorkowitz Lejeune, HAS. BC-HIS- “Volume control…you’re going to hear sounds like that…can you hear that?”
Michael: Oh yes
Elissa: And now you’ll hear when it’s going louder
Michael: Oh that’s better oh that’s really good
Elissa: This is going to be perfect for you because they fit you great which is what we wanted
With over 20 years experience, Bob Scheppske is a board certified hearing aid at the practice. The entire team, providing some TLC & treatment after several unsuccessful ear surgeries. Our cameras capturing every moment & the miracle of a patient finally hearing after 15 years.
Bob: It’s resetting to your comfort level ok? We’re gonna hook him back up and run a few more tests. 10 12, yeps 10 12, were going to change the configuration and rerun the test
Michael: (It’s) like a new world. ((laugh)) I love you guys for what you’ve done.
Mel Sorkowitz is the doctor of audiology in their 2 offices in both west and east Boca Raton. He’s extremely proud of the business, vision, and the specialized treatment they provide for the hearing impaired.
Dr. Mel Sorkowitz, Doctor of Audiology: Hopefully we’ve been able to be a life-changer or hope to be a life changer for Michael’s life. He’s a very intelligent guy. He’s well motivated. He hears beautifully with his hearing instruments and he wants to get back into a career path. If we can help in anyway, that’s our pleasure believe me. It’s like anything else, the earlier we can fix these problems the more success we will eventually have
The team wasn’t finished with their generosity, they had another surprise in store for Michael after being fitting with his new hearing aids. An appointment with stylist, Paul Ferraro of Paul Ferraro Tanning & Hair Salon in Boca Raton who cut, styled his hair and fitted Michael with some new clothes. They tell me their next goal is to help him get a job. Michael used to work in theater. Sondra tells me the reason she did this is because when you give back, you get so much in return.
Sondra: There’s so much everybody can do to help somebody else.When anybody has the opportunity to do this…it’s the best thing you can do
We hope you’ll be inspired by this wonderful local story. Continuing globally we will all celebrateWorld Humanitarian Day, this Sunday Aug. 19th. So be sure to get out in your community, give back in anyway you can with your time and talents and be the change you wish to see in the world. By doing so, you’ll inspire others to do the same. Reporting in studio Michele Wright CBS 12 News.