GLEN ALLEN, Va. -- A Glen Allen woman is being called a hero for her dedication to raising awareness about Cochlear implants and the hearing loss community.
Thursday morning Patricia Kovac got quite the surprise when leaders with Cochlear surprised at her home with the National HearO of the Year award for her dedication to helping raise awareness about cochlear implants, while also helping to mentor those struggling with hearing loss.
Kovac said she started losing her hearing about 15 years ago, and eventually learned about Cochlear implants, a device that helps partially restore hearing.
After learning about the implants and successfully getting one, she said she became a volunteer to raise awareness for others -- and it's now her post-retirement passion.
"I love holding their hand along the journey, answering their questions," Kovak said. "Being honest about the pros and the cons of every kind of solution. So, to be acknowledged for it is just amazing. It's just something that I want to do in my spare time."
Kovak is the first person from Virginia to win the award at the national level. She plans on continuing to volunteer for years to come.
Cochlear currently has 1,837 volunteers. In order to be a volunteer, you must be a Cochlear implant recipient or a loved one of a Cochlear implant recipient.
For more information on Cochlear implants, click here.