This man's Christmas gift: a second chance at hearing

Once victim to being sold old, apparently defective hearing aids, Fred Wiley received a Christmas gift that has made all the difference in the world.

Wiley and his wife were sold the unusable aids for $1,200 by Roy Taber of the Portland area, as we featured in a story in November.

All American Hearing, a Clackamas business, saw our story and stepped in to donate the hearing aids, valued at $5,000, to the Wileys.

Prosecutors in Washington have charged Taber with theft for selling refurbished hearing aids as if they were new, even though authorities said they were a decade old. Taber also is accused of selling them in Washington without a license.

Wiley said the hearing aids just didn't work. But the new pair is especially balanced for his particular hearing loss.

"I can be across the room. I can say something, and he'll answer because now he's heard me," Sharon Wiley said. "So it makes a big difference, and I think that's what I'm so excited about now."

All American Hearing officials said they felt compelled to donate the aids after hearing Wiley's story.

"We didn't want them to feel that nobody could be trusted in the hearing aid industry," said Josephine Vu, a spokeswoman for All American Hearing. "So we wanted to come out and show them there really are good people in this field that believe in wanting to help our patients here."

Wiley is due for a hearing checkup at All American Hearing next month to ensure his new aids are working right.

Coincidentally, Taber is due in court in King Court also in January. He has pleaded not guilty to the theft charges.