Two Sons with Hearing Loss and Their Path to Boys Town: The Tureks' Story
For the Turek Family, All Paths Lead to Boys Town Hospital
Each year, approximately three of every 1,000 babies are born with hearing loss, but these numbers don’t mean much to the Tureks – a family of seven with two sons who have hearing loss. Though the boys’ medical journeys followed two different paths, they led to the same place: Boys Town Audiology at Boys Town National Research Hospital.
Lesley and Matt Turek first became concerned for their son Cale when they noticed his response to their conversations was often “what” and he wasn’t speaking as well as they’d expect him to as a toddler. They turned to their community resources in Malcolm, Nebraska for help. The school’s special education department recommended that the family make the hour-long drive to Boys Town National Research Hospital.
The Tureks had heard of Boys Town Hospital’s great reputation for hearing care, so they knew they were making the right decision for their son. What they didn’t know was that they were about to become a part of a whole new community with a group of people whose mission is to improve the lives of families like theirs.
From the moment they arrived at Boys Town Hospital, they felt at ease.
“I feel like I’m a priority,” Lesley said. “That’s really important to me as a mom.”
“It’s a family environment,” Matt said. “It doesn’t feel like you’re in a clinic. The people make you feel comfortable and welcome.”
Cale and his parents met their audiologist Ashley, and they just clicked. She helped them determine that Cale had mild-to-moderate sensorineural bilateral hearing loss, or hearing loss in both ears. Ashley and her team quickly put together a treatment plan, complete with information on how to use the hearing aids and how the family could get financial support for this important medical equipment. The rest was history – or so they thought.
As Cale adjusted to his hearing aids and began to show improvements in his speech and language development, the family welcomed another son: Jackson.
Unlike Cale, Jackson showed signs of hearing loss right away. When he failed his newborn hearing screening, Lesley and Matt knew exactly what to do. They returned to Boys Town Hospital, and before he was even 3 months old, Jackson was fit with his first set of hearing aids.
Now the family can’t imagine life without their Boys Town support system.
“We’ve been coming to Boys Town Hospital for six years now,” Lesley said. “I just feel like they make you feel special. When I show up, Ashley knows all of my kids’ names. We’re excited to see her, and she’s excited to see us. To come to a big city like Omaha and have that personal connection is so big for us.”
The family continues to return to Boys Town Hospital for annual check-ups, but Lesley and Matt feel connected all throughout the year. They know they can always call with questions and when they need something small that doesn’t require a visit, Ashley will happily mail it directly to the family in Malcolm. It’s a minor thing, but one of the many ways that she provides accessible, life-changing care for the Turek family.