(FORT WORTH, Texas) — After a 10-year-old deaf boy’s beloved dog chewed up his hearing aids twice, his parents told him just how expensive it was to replace the devices.
The lesson in responsibility and gratitude inspired Braden Baker to raise money for those who can’t afford to so easily replace the hearing aids.
The Fort Worth, Texas boy was born with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and has worn hearing aids since he was three months old. Because they’re not covered by insurance, his parents, Ashley and Christopher Baker, have to pay approximately $4,000 each time he needs new devices, his mother told ABC News.
Earlier this year, Ashley Baker said her son was sick and laying down. That’s when their 2-year-old Shih Tzu named Chewy ate his hearing devices.
“That turned into a talk about being responsible and the value of money,” the mother of two sons said, noting that the incident was an accident. “We told him how lucky he was that we could afford to get a pair and to think about all the people out there that cannot afford to get a pair.”
The Bakers, who’ve been married for 14 years, thought their youngest son got the lesson until Chewy ate yet another hearing device back in March after Braden Baker left it behind carelessly.
“We really freaked out on the second one,” Ashley Baker, 45, recalled.
Thankfully, that device was covered under its warranty so they didn’t have to pay. But that didn’t allow Braden Baker to escape another talk about “irresponsibility.”
“When my dog ate my hearing aids, I kind of learned how important it is and I kind of felt bad for the other people who might [not be able to replace theirs],” Braden Baker told ABC News.
It prompted the student to set up a GoFundMe page back in June to raise funds for his hearing aid’s foundation, the Oticon Hearing Foundation. Initially he created a goal of $1,000. After surpassing that within a week, he extended the goal to $3,000. At the end of his fundraiser in July, the student raised more than $15,000.
Last Wednesday, Braden Baker and his mother hand delivered a check for $15,000 to Oticon Hearing Foundation President Gary Rosenblum in Somerset, New Jersey.
“We could not be more thankful for his generosity and determination,” the foundation, who’s mission is to improve hearing care worldwide, said on their official Facebook page.
For Braden Baker, the entire day was “really crazy. I didn’t believe it was happening.”
“It gave me happiness,” he added.
Ashley Baker said she’s proud of her son. “It’s him finding his purpose,” she gushed.
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