Hear we go

Updated: 2011-08-19 10:47

By Zhang Xi (China Daily European Weekly)

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Hear we go
Daniel Balicki treats many elderly people, but says the younger "MP3 generation", too, is suffering from hearing problems. Provided to China Daily 

Polish Audiologist helps thousands of Chinese hear for the first time

One of the best parts of his job is helping improve the quality of life of his patients, says Daniel Balicki. "Sometimes you get a bit bored with your work but then you meet a patient who starts crying after you fit hearing aids for him. He can now hear his granddaughter's laughter," Balicki says.

"Or I meet a 4-year-old boy who was fitted with hearing aids two years ago, and I can see he is smiling, talking and answering questions as if he had never had hearing loss," says the 35-year-old audiologist and co-owner of New Wave European Hearing Solutions Company Limited in Shanghai.

Through his line of work he has been able to meet so many interesting people who have so many amazing stories to share, especially the the elderly, who make up most of his patients.

"Just imagine that every day you have an opportunity to talk to somebody who witnessed things and events you could just read about in books," he says.

Balicki used to be an audiologist in hospitals and hearing-aid fitting centers in Poland. In February 2006 he arrived in China to work as an audiologist and product manager for the Shanghai branch of GN ReSound, the world's largest manufacturer of hearing aids.

It was a huge lifestyle change because he had never worked outside of Poland before. He also had the added responsibility as product and audiology training manager throughout Asia, visiting Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia.

But unlike the expats who come to the Middle Kingdom by dint of being asked to do so by their employers, Balicki came to China entirely of his own accord.

"I did not originally have a plan to come to China but when I was looking for a change in my life, the unexpected job opportunity arose," he says.

"Although I did not know a lot about China before coming, it seemed like an interesting challenge and adventure. So I went for it.

"Honestly, coming to China turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made."

Balicki was born and raised in a small town, and graduated with a master's degree in science in physics from the University of Poznan in 2003. He continued his studies at the University of Wroclaw to earn a certificate in audiology and hearing prosthetics.

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