February 10, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Germany

Much Better Than Before

By Lynn Erickson

Manuel Hofmann (right) and his mother Silke, photo courtesy of the Hear the World Foundation

Manuel Hofmann, a 24-year-old Special Olympics athlete in Germany, and his mother Silke didn’t know the long-term impact that Special Olympics Healthy Athletes would have on Manuel’s life, but now they often share their story to encourage everyone to participate in Healthy Athletes. Manuel received free Phonak hearing aids and follow-up care through Healthy Hearing and the Hear the World Foundation that changed his life.

“Sometimes I feel guilty that it took us so long to notice that Manuel had a hearing impairment,” Silke says, “but he is also great at adapting and for a long time we thought that he was simply slow to grasp some things because of his mental disability, or that he just wasn’t very good at expressing himself. Manuel now wears his hearing aids all the time, just like a pair of glasses. I keep noticing that they are really doing him good and improving his quality of life.”

In Manuel’s own words, “Now things are much better than before. Now I finally understand!"

About Lynn Erickson: Manager, Health Communications
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