Memphis resident Danyell Schendel is an aspiring actress who also enjoys singing in her church choir. However, she struggled to enjoy these activities due to near-total hearing loss in her right ear, which was caused by a bout of meningitis as a toddler. Danyell developed a sense of shame about being different when she was little, and kept her hearing loss a secret from all but her closest friends, even though it frequently interfered with her daily life. She often felt alone during childhood because of her hearing difficulties.

Danyell’s family supported her efforts to finally address her hearing loss by encouraging her to try out for Signia’s It’s Your Choice series. After being selected as a participant, she met with a hearing care professional in Nashville, Tennessee. Testing confirmed that she had severe-to-profound hearing loss in her right ear. Danyell was excited to learn a solution was available – CROS technology, which transfers sound coming toward her “dead” ear via a transmitter into a hearing aid worn in her hearing ear.

Once fitted with the CROS system, Danyell was delighted when her husband whispered in her right ear and she could hear his voice clearly for the first time from that side. To celebrate, she and her husband went to the Grand Ole Opry, and even enjoyed a backstage performance with a couple of the stars. Danyell was delighted to hear the music to its fullest thanks to her new devices.

“I noticed before I had the hearing aid, it felt like a shadow on my right side, but not tonight,” said a grateful Danyell. “It was like a whole new world opened up on the right side.”


Watch Danyell’s tale, along with our two other It’s Your Choice participants’ stories, at www.signiausa.com/itsyourchoice.