Two Sons with Hearing Loss and Their Path to Boys Town: The Tureks' Story
For the Turek Family, All Paths Lead to Boys Town Hospital
Each year, approximately three of every 1,000 babies are born with hearing loss, but these numbers don’t mean much to the Tureks – a family of seven with two sons who have hearing loss. Though the boys’ medical journeys followed two different paths, they led to the same place: Boys Town Audiology at Boys Town National Research Hospital.
Lesley and Matt Turek first became concerned for their son Cale when they noticed his response to their conversations was often “what” and he wasn’t speaking as well as they’d expect him to as a toddler. They turned to their community resources in Malcolm, Nebraska for help. The school’s special education department recommended that the family make the hour-long drive to Boys Town National Research Hospital.
The Tureks had heard of Boys Town Hospital’s great reputation for hearing care, so they knew they were making the right decision for their son. What they didn’t know was that they were about to become a part of a whole new community with a group of people whose mission is to improve the lives of families like theirs.
From the moment they arrived at Boys Town Hospital, they felt at ease.
“I feel like I’m a priority,” Lesley said. “That’s really important to me as a mom.”
“It’s a family environment,” Matt said. “It doesn’t feel like you’re in a clinic. The people make you feel comfortable and welcome.”
Cale and his parents met their audiologist Ashley, and they just clicked. She helped them determine that Cale had mild-to-moderate sensorineural bilateral hearing loss, or hearing loss in both ears. Ashley and her team quickly put together a treatment plan, complete with information on how to use the hearing aids and how the family could get financial support for this important medical equipment. The rest was history – or so they thought.
As Cale adjusted to his hearing aids and began to show improvements in his speech and language development, the family welcomed another son: Jackson.
Unlike Cale, Jackson showed signs of hearing loss right away. When he failed his newborn hearing screening, Lesley and Matt knew exactly what to do. They returned to Boys Town Hospital, and before he was even 3 months old, Jackson was fit with his first set of hearing aids.
Now the family can’t imagine life without their Boys Town support system.
Hearing Aids: Turek Family Story - Boys Town National Research Hospital
Jackson and Cale both have sensory neural
bilateral hearing loss.
We had concerns about Cale's hearing when
he was born and we asked around.
We started with our school's special ed department
and they recommended us to Boys Town.
If you needed hearing aids, if you had a hearing
loss this was the place to be, so we came.
Everything we've heard from people, this was
one of the top in the country for hearing.
They have a great reputation for their program,
they're audiology program.
We called to get an appointment and got Cale
up here right away.
Cale didn't get up here until he was two and
a half and Jack got them at two and a half
Quick diagnosis and quick turnaround and as
a parent, you know once you know they need
those hearing aids, you just want them on
them as fast you can get them and I feel like
Boys Town did that for us.
Watching your children hear for the first
time is an experience that you can not ever
get, I mean its indescribable really.
It's just inspiring to everybody.
I had you know all these people say I love
seeing this video every time and I mean that
is just a cool moment.
There is a reason that those videos go viral
and people love to see it because it is such
a cool experience and something you take for
You take hearing for granted.
We live in Malcolm, NE which is a small town
NW of Lincoln, really small like 420 people.
Everyone said come to Boys Town.
This was the place to be and so we felt like
it was worth the hour drive here and I haven't
regretted it since.
We've been coming here for six years now and
I"ll keep coming back every year.
Everybody here that has worked with our kids
has done a great job and we've seen progress
in our kid's speech and everything else.
It's changed our everyday life, I mean I went
from a two and a half year old who said what
all the time and you know, struggled to speak
clearly and you know, you get these hearing
aids and you get services and Cale's whole
He's in second grade now.
He's able to be in a classroom all day long
and there is no way he would be able to do
that without all the support we've gotten
from Boys Town.
From the first time we came, everyone is nice,
from the check in staff to the audiologists
and all the wonderful people who help them.
We've always felt welcome here.
Our kids love her.
There is a good relationship there.
We're more on a personal level than just coming
to see the doctor.
Our kids are always excited to see their audiologist
and the rest of our family too as well.
I just feel like they make you feel special.
When I show up, Ashley knows, we have five
children, she knows all our children's names.
My kids are so excited to see her.
We are excited to see her.
She's excited to see us and to come to a big
city like Omaha and have that personal connection
is so big for us that I just feel welcome.
We are thrilled with Boys Town Hospital.
It is very family oriented.
It is a family environment.
I couldn't think of going anywhere else.
“We’ve been coming to Boys Town Hospital for six years now,” Lesley said. “I just feel like they make you feel special. When I show up, Ashley knows all of my kids’ names. We’re excited to see her, and she’s excited to see us. To come to a big city like Omaha and have that personal connection is so big for us.”
The family continues to return to Boys Town Hospital for annual check-ups, but Lesley and Matt feel connected all throughout the year. They know they can always call with questions and when they need something small that doesn’t require a visit, Ashley will happily mail it directly to the family in Malcolm. It’s a minor thing, but one of the many ways that she provides accessible, life-changing care for the Turek family.