Yevhen Nosov, 76, and his wife Liubov arrived in Australia in May last year with one bag of belongings between them.
They had left war-torn Ukraine to come to the relieved and loving welcome of daughter and son-in-law Tetiana and Igor and granddaughter Anna.
The war had claimed everything from the Nosovs - friends, family, home and a lifetime of memories. It had also claimed Yevhen's hearing.
The couple were caught up in the Russian bombardment of their home town of Mariupol and were sheltering in a basement. Yevhen ventured out but was caught in an explosion which killed two people near him and left him bleeding and unconscious. When he woke up he realised he was deaf.
Tetiana and Igor spent weeks trying to get in touch with their parents, contacting Consuls, friends in Ukraine and using social media.
They were eventually able to contact Yevhen and Liubov and bring them to Australia on a temporary humanitarian visa.
Yevhen, a former director of a research institute in Ukraine with a PhD in metallugy, and Liubov spoke almost no English when they arrived in Australia. Liubov was also sick with pneumonia and Yevhen struggled with the loss of his hearing and his lack of English.
The couple went to live with Tetiana and Igor in their home in Mandurah WA.
Yevhen is learning English online and through TAFE but the couple's story was told to The Senior by Igor.
"I saw an advertisement on Facebook for a trial of hearing aids," said Igor "and I booked my father-in-law in for an assessment."
Yevhen saw an audiologist who diagnosed bilateral hearing loss of more than 50 per cent. He received a trial set of hearing aids from audiology experts Audika, but when the trial was over, he found that he had been accepted as the winner of Audika's Give Back program which provides free hearing aids and ongoing support.
The hearing aids from Audika have made a profound difference in Yevhen's life. He can now have conversations with his family, watch television and learn and practice English at TAFE and online more easily.
An article by The Lancet Global Health found people with uncorrected hearing loss can experience difficulties with communication, mental health problems, social isolation and a high unemployment rate, which is why the early recognition and treatment of hearing loss is so important.
Hearing loss, which currently affects 20 per cent of the global population, has risen from the 11th leading cause of years lived with disability in 2010 to the third in 2019.
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