Audiology Booth June 2007

Audiology Booth 2007

Melbourne Internal Medicines Associates called my office one day asking if we would have any use for a soundproof audiology booth to test hearing. They had used the same one since 1987 and were replacing it. Having no concept of how big it was or anything about this piece of medical equipment, Janis Provoncha invited me over to view the booth. It basically took up the entire room with a little navigation space for getting in and out of it. It was a 10 x 10 insulated room with a ceiling and floor. Each big bulky, and difficult to manage section weighed 200 plus pounds plus equipment was around 1500 pounds total. She then informed me that the company authorized to dismantle the thing charged around $2,000 to take it apart and some unknown fee to put it back together. I say unknown because I was fairly sure the company would not be really excited about going to Honduras to put it back together. I called my medical contacts in Honduras and they thought they could use it in the Hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa. They did not seem overly excited about it and without technical support or finances available for the project, and the additional problem of shipping it there, I began to doubt and wonder if it was worth the trouble. The President of our mission organization knew of my health situation at the time so he advised me to forget about it. And for a few days, I did. But… it kept coming up in my head that we should not give up just because the job was difficult.

Armed with teenagers and husbands we dismantled it, transported it to storage, transported it to Honduras on a container and then a short 3 weeks later it was re-mantled in Honduras by the same teenagers that took it apart.

The day we turned it on, you have never seen anything like it. The Mayor, the Media, the Medical Director and Audiologists were all there. They were so excited. The mayor had his hearing tested on television. We thought that it was great they were so excited but as they proceeded to thank Mario Zelaya MD, the Torch team, MIMA, Dr. Ruiz, and the InterAmerican Restoration Corporation. They went on to say that it was the ONLY functioning one in the entire country. All of the poor children and adults that have hearing difficulties will be using this booth. We were shocked that this older piece of equipment would mean so much impact.

Needless to say, it was worth all the trouble. I did a site visit in December and it is up and running and working well. They are just as excited as they were in June.

Thank you everyone who participated.