An overwhelmed Gilbert mother, struggling to pay for her young son’s hearing loss, was surprised with a free hearing aid.

Shealynn, who lives in Gilbert with her three young children, reached out for help after her 4-year-old son, Joshua, contracted MRSA. The skin staph infection ate away the boy’s eardrum.

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“My son had tubes in his ears, he dad chronic infections and he ended up getting MRSA in his right ear,” explained Shealynn. “I ended up taking him to the doctor and she said, ‘His eardrum is gone. We’ve never seen anything like this.'”

Doctors felt surgery was the best option to preserve Joshua’s remaining hearing according to Shealynn.

“They had to take a graft from behind his ear to make an eardrum,” said Shealynn. “I cried. I tried to be strong for him, but it was tough.

He underwent surgery in December and doctors haven’t determined how much of his hearing will be restored. The looming expense of a hearing aid was overwhelming for Shealynn.

“As a single mom, it’s hard,” she said.

The Gilbert mom recently returned to work after taking time off for a difficult pregnancy. She is also attending school and is studying to be a nurse.

3TV anchor Nicole Crites with Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad surprised Shealynn at her home with some help from Ear Foundation AZ.

“Our mission is to make sure that every child who needs hearing aids has them and we’ll make sure that Joshua has a loaner and that we’ll help advocate for anything he might need and that Hear for Kids is here for you,” said Lylis Olsen, HEAR for Kids program manager.

“That’s awesome,” said Shealynn.

But Crites had a second surprise for Shealynn.

“It is very important to Valley Toyota Dealers to make a difference in our community," said Jay Carley, Jr., Valley Toyota Dealers general manager. "We are so happy to help you and your amazing family with this special surprise."

Crites then presented Shealynn with $3,000 to help with Joshua’s future medical expenses.

The young mother gasped, “Oh my gosh! Thank you! That will help so much.”

“How much of a difference is that going to make?” asked Crites.

“A huge difference. Thank you so much,” replied Shealynn.

Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad is powered by your Valley Toyota Dealers.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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