Dr. Hough was known for much more than his talent in the operating room and was so much more than a surgeon – he was a World War II veteran, a father, a church planter, an instructor, and a philanthropist. His focus was ever-outward, searching for how he could best live his life with the greatest impact on others. Even when HEI began to receive fellows to study alongside the team, they lived with the Hough family. His philosophy was “life on life,” fully immersing the guests into the day to day life of a Christian businessman.
As his practice grew and the research institute was established, this core value did not change. Beginning with the magnets developed in part by Dr. Hough, the cochlear implant became a new tool that helped reconnect people to their lives.
Can you imagine being able to hear your family’s voices again after years of feeling disconnected and misunderstood?
The cochlear implant was an amazing step forward in hearing restoration. But it still wasn’t enough to satisfy the team at HEI. After the innovation of the cochlear implant, the team’s goal shifted. Some hearing was no longer enough – they wanted to completely restore hearing to those who desired it. Sound impossible? To some, yes. But the amazing beauty of this goal is that it carries at its core the love of people.
With the therapies that are being developed in the labs, hearing could potentially be restored to a vastly larger number of people. Hearing aids and cochlear implants are tremendous in what they do, yet they are not available to many people because of the cost of the device, the maintenance, or because they live in remote locations without access to doctors or clinics. Think about what it would look like to give the gift of hearing to a mother in a refugee clinic or a small child in Africa. How drastically could this change lives? This is the new goal – not just to create therapies that restore hearing, but to do so for the 90% of the population that don’t yet have access to and cannot afford the current technologies.