Courage Award Winner Jerry

A dynamic life as an artist, singer, father, husband, grandfather and dedicated firefighter shaped Jerry’s outgoing personality. He suddenly lost hearing in his left ear at age 38. Over the years hearing in his other ear progressively deteriorated and he lost his vision due to age-related macular degeneration. He was approved for bilateral cochlear implantation; however, there was a risk that he could lose his hearing completely. His career taught him to confront extremely challenging circumstances, yetfacing a future with no sight, no hearing and virtually no means of communication was the biggest challenge of his life.

As a firefighter Jerry learned to trust his team, so he courageously choose to proceed with the cochlear implant surgery and for seven weeks lived in complete darkness waiting for the implants to be activated. During this time he inspired those around him further because he still wore a smile each day. While he could not hear and had only a small amount of peripheral vision on one side, he chose to focus on what he had: hope coupled with the support of his family and Glenrose care team. Jerry can now hear again in both ears. He can talk on the phone, listen to the birds chirp during walks with his dog and hear his belovedwife, children and grandchildren say “I love you!”

“Communication is a powerful gift and Jerry’s journey is an inspiration to all of us. He reminds us all that we are so blessed to work in this profession.” Kathy, Doris, Joanne, Tanis & Team

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