Emotional letter helps West Haven grandmother get free hearing aids


ORANGE, Conn. (WTNH) — A letter written by Melissa D’Aniello brought tears to the eyes of her grandmother, Loretta, 91.

In the letter she wrote, “I love her with all of my heart, but I can’t afford to buy her the hearing aides that she needs.”

D’Aniello says, “She lived with us my whole life. So, she took care of me when I was little when my parents worked. She’s just always been around.”

These have two celebrate milestones together, play bingo, and have gone on many lunches over the years. Recently, Melissa noticed Loretta’s hearing fading.

“It’s hard for her to communicate with people. So, sometimes she’ll be behind or think we’re talking about something else,” said Melissa.

It was clear she needed hearing aids, but insurance wouldn’t cover the thousands they would cost. So, Melissa took her feelings to paper and wrote that letter to the Beltone Hearing Care foundation. It’s a non-profit that donates hearing aids to folks in need. Orange Beltone employee Nicole Starinovich has submitted many letters like this one, but this was the first pair to be granted.

“I’m ecstatic. You always want to help someone hear and we know that sometimes someone can’t do that. They don’t have the means to be able to do that,” said Starinovich.

Loretta says through tears, “I’d like to thank everybody who is involved in helping me to get my hearing aids for myself. I thank you so much. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

A grandmother and grand-daughter grateful for each other and for the chance to be able to hear each other in full volume once again.

“I want to listen to everybody talking the way we normally do, you know? With both ears not just one,” said Loretta.

She will get fitted for two free hearing aids here at Beltone tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: 91-year-old Loretta D’aniello got two free hearing aides today:

For more on the Beltone Hearing Care Foundation, click here.

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