ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (WCCO) – A man from Alexandria got a very unusual Christmas present Friday, and it all started with a Facebook post.

Steve Hensley said on Facebook that he liked hearing his daughter on the baby monitor. It turns out Steve has mild hearing loss in one ear, and moderate loss in the other.

“One of the owners, I believe, of this company had seen that post on Facebook, and sent a message to me saying that he’d like to provide me with hearing aids,” Hensley said.

Starkey Labs is one of the best-known hearing aid makers in the world. Steve, like all other patients, started with an ear exam and a hearing test.

Next, molds were made of Steve’s ears. His new hearing instruments will be so small they will be practically invisible. They’re made entirely in Eden Prairie. These devices are worth $6,000, so this is quite a gift.

Starkey Senior Vice President Brandon Sawalich happened to be on Facebook at the right time.

“I was on Facebook Christmas Eve, I’m very rarely on Facebook, but went on there and saw his story, where he was having trouble with his new daughter, hearing, and was bragging about the baby monitors and how the baby monitor was helping him hear his daughter,” Sawalich said.

In a matter of hours, Steve’s new hearing aids were complete. After some fine tuning with the instruments connected to a computer, Steve was ready to hear as he had never heard before.

“Everything is up here, whereas it used to be out there. Absolutely huge difference,” Hensley said.

“I’ve been raised, you know, that random acts of kindness are a good thing. And I think, you know, Christmas Eve, and one night a year when everyone is a little kinder and nicer. It feels good to help somebody,” Sawalich said.

Steve also said he can hear the sound of his own voice as he has never heard it before. And he believes he won’t be asking people to repeat things any more.


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