Ukrainian Refugee Hearing Aids

80-year-old Ukrainian refugee gifted state-of-the-art hearing aids

Contributed by James Pocock

23/08/2023 00:00:00 • 4 min read

Growing up in Ukraine

Hanna Panasko, 80, was born in Ukraine in 1941, during WWII. Hanna and her mother stayed in Ukraine during the occupation until the end of the war; her mother worked all her life on a collective farm in a village near Cherkasy. After going to school in Cherkasy, Hanna was able to attend university in Kyiv, studying Agricultural Science.

In the final year of her studies, Hanna got married and had a daughter, Svitlana, and returned to Cherkasy to work as an animal farming specialist. She had a son three years later.

When Hanna’s daughter and son were aged four and one, respectively, her husband left, leaving Hanna to raise her children alone.

In the mid-1990s, after spending some time in Kyiv, Hanna’s daughter Svitlana moved back to Cherkasy to live with her mother. By that time, Hanna’s health had deteriorated, so Svitlana stayed to look after her.  

Hearing Loss

Hannah celebrating her 80th birthday

Fleeing to the UK

February 2022 saw the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia. While Cherkasy is in central Ukraine and not on the frontline, missiles were flying overhead day and night, which was not good for Hanna who suffers from heart problems and high blood pressure, as well as hearing loss.

Hanna’s son, now a British citizen, arranged for Hanna and Svitlana to come to the UK, and they arrived in London by bus on 28 March 2022.

Hearing challenges in a new country

Hanna’s hearing loss has been exacerbated since arriving in the UK due to the language barrier.

But thanks to the Give Back Programme, Hidden Hearing were able to fit Hanna with a brand-new pair of state-of-the-art, private hearing aids.

Hanna says she is grateful for being given “the chance to hear and enjoy the sounds all around again.”

Hidden Hearing Blog - Thank You Letter

Give Back Programme

We are changing lives by awarding a top-of-the-range pair of private hearing aids to people in the UK who may not be able to afford them, just like Hanna Panasko.

It’s simple. Each month, we gift up to five pairs of private hearing aids to someone with hearing loss who deserves the life-changing benefits that come with better hearing. For a chance to be nominated,  encourage a friend or family member who you think will benefit from having their hearing checked.

Maybe a loved one or someone you know struggles to keep up with conversations, avoids talking on the phone, seems distant in noisy environments or has the TV too loud, which are all signs of hearing loss.

Book a hearing test for yourself or someone you care about (make sure you have their permission), for the opportunity to be nominated by one of our audiologists for the life-changing Give Back Programme.