Better Hearing Institute


Hearing Loss Success Stories of Story Tellers

Hallee Patterson - Story Teller


Halle Patterson

Hallee has been married to her husband Russ now for 35 years. She has spent the majority of her life in Oklahoma, Wisconsin and for the last ten years in the Chicago land area. She is the mother of two adult children Nick age 27 and Tracy 29; one is a realtor and the other a school teacher.

Her daughter Tracy would come home from college and explain how interesting her classes were. Her husband Russ worked for De Paul University giving her the opportunity to return to college free of charge and complete her education. She chose to study comparative religion finally graduating with honors. Hallee feels that religion is the beginning of human history and there are many wonderful stories, myths and legends affiliated with religious study.

Today she donates her time and tells stories that she creates to elementary school children. She is also a docent at the Chicago Historical Society. She finds that she loves to tell stories hoping to give her listeners a sense of wonder. In addition she works at the Sheffield Garden Walk in her neighborhood giving architectural tours with her husband, who is a registered architect. He lectures on architecture and she explains history and shares juicy gossip with her audience.

Impact of Hearing Loss

Halle went to school with her children's contemporaries; That is, all her classmates were 19 to 21 years old. So she received not only a formal education; but she gained insight into the problems her college aged children were facing.

Hallee remembers her first day of college as an adult. Her daughter walked her to school and inquired if she had her pencil and paper, just like a mother would. She was so excited to be going back to school. However, as the teachers spoke Hallee realized she was not hearing them. She was understanding perhaps every third word. But she learned also that she was mixing up the meanings because she did not hear the lectures correctly. So she started sitting in the front row to be able to hear.

She found that school was exhausting. She would often come home from school with terrible headaches. Her husband Russ was getting tired of his wife saying "what" after he spoke. So he told her she had a hearing problem. Naturally Hallee thought he was kidding. She thought he just did not talk loud or that he was mumbling. She also thought she was a terrible student because she could not pay attention in school. When she could not hear, she simply tuned out.

Hearing Loss and Hearing Loss Solutions

She took Russ's advice and made an appointment with an Otologist. After having her hearing tested she learned that indeed she had hearing loss in both ears. Somehow she had lost her hearing gradually. This is common in adult onset hearing loss….which is why many adults find it hard to believe the problem is theirs, rather than the rest of the world.

She chose to purchase sophisticated digital hearing aids that were cosmetically appealing - in fact she chose blue hearing aids with glitter, thinking that as long as she was going to wear them she might as well make a fashion statement with them.

In remembering the first time she put the aids in my ears she indicates that she had never truly heard her voice; and when she did she actually cried. In class she heard everything the professors said, plus she heard the students' replies. It was now actually fun to go to school.

Personal Statement

I was a lost student my whole life. If I had just known about hearing aids earlier, I would have been able to enjoy my years in school. My husband and I have enjoyed taking ballroom dance lessons. I find wearing hearing aids helps me to hear the beat of the music so that I can keep time. Also when I play the violin and piano my hearing aids help me with my intonation. I used to sleep through the theatre when I couldn't hear. Since getting my hearing aids I now can finally enjoy going to the show..

I would say that my purchase of modern digital hearing aids has really enhanced my life. I feel I am now a part of what ever experience I choose to enjoy. And I wish this new sense of belongingness and involvement in the human experience to the millions of other Americans who are in need of hearing help.

Contact Information

You can email Hallee at:


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