Twenty-six years ago Dale Yarborough started losing his hearing and he says once it started, it went fast.
Last year, a cochlear implant restored his hearing but sadly, that gift came too late to share with his wife.
Two months after Dale Yarborough met Kathleen in 1952 they were married.
Thirty years later his hearing began to fade.
He could only communicate through lip reading and says that became difficult even with his wife.
"She said you don't know my voice and I said no and I couldn't hardly hear her. Bought three pairs of hearing aids and you couldn't get any one of them loud enough I thought and they weren't worth a hoot," Yarborough says.
Last year, his wife died leaving him alone and unable to hear.
"Not being able to hear had caused him to be isolated, to not interact with friends with his church family," says Dr. Jed Grisel, and ear, nose and throat specialist.
That changed on April 3, 2012, when Yarborough underwent surgery to install a cochlear implant in his right ear.
His hearing gradually began to return.
"Many patients will say that when the implant is first turned on it sounds like Mickey Mouse or robots talking and then after several weeks to sometimes a few months, the sound becomes normal and becomes their normal hearing," explains Dr. Grisel.
And once Yarborough became accustomed to hearing again he started getting out and about-- even visited his former boss.
"She looked at me and smiled and said, Dale can you hear me? I said, Yes Ma'am," Yarborough said while holding back tears.
Yarborough has returned to work at United Supermarket in Burkburnett.
And soon he plans to have an implant placed in his other ear.
He says his only regret is that he didn't have the procedure done sooner so he could have heard his wife's voice a little longer.
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