Lovejoy drive continues to help restore hearing

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Jul 13, 2018 at 2:48 PM

There is good news to report on the ongoing efforts to help restore the hearing of Marcie Lovejoy, a former Johnson City Press carrier and dedicated Fazoli’s staff member in need of a costly replacement of the processor that connects to her cochlear implant.

As reported in the Good Neighbor column in June, Marcia has been without the processor, and as result without her hearing, for the past two years. The device is old and outdated and not easily retooled. She’s been told the replacement will cost her close to $10,000.

From experience with the implant she received while in her 40s, Marcia knows the application for Medicaid coverage for the processor could require many months of unemployment. Now in her mid-50s and not only accustomed to working but someone who takes the pride in her jobs, Lovejoy does not want to leave work or, more importantly, to be dependent on her aging mother during that interim.

She has continued working without her hearing and with a diminished earning capacity that has come with that. Her situation has recently become more perilous as her husband’s health and ability to work has also declined.

Witnessing the dilemma, friends from Trinity Baptist Church stepped up to help and late last month arranged for Lovejoy to undergo and evaluation with East Tennessee State University’s Audiology Department. And that is where the good news came in.

Marcia’s mother, Martha Diddle, told me this week she wished she could have recorded the doctor’s visit and Marcia’s reaction when an in-office device made the connection to her implant and allowed her to hear what was going on around her for the first time in two years.

“She was so excited she started jumping up and down like a child,” Diddle said.

Dr. Saravanan Elangovan, the clinic director and head of the ETSU Audiology Department who conducted the evaluation, was also pleased.

The implant itself is good. And Elangovan is now consulting with the company that manufactured the implant to assess the possibility of a temporary fix for Marcia’s old processor and the prospects for a replacement.

Diddle expects to learn more on the status of the processor soon. And in the meantime, her own Sunday school class and others are pledging their weekly collections to help with the cost of a new one. A fundraising yard sale is in the planning stages. And Good Samaritan Ministries in continuing to accept to contributions toward the cost of the processor on Macia’s behalf.

The GoFundMe page set up on Marcia’s behalf earlier this year has been discontinued in preference for donations made through the ministry.

Those who wish to help may make donations to Good Samaritan Ministries earmarked for Marcia Lovejoy by mail to P.O. Box 2441, Johnson City, TN 37605 or online at www.goodsamjc.org.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at 423-722-0538, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605, or slegg@johnsoncitypress.com.

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