Dr. Karon Lynn thought she would become an Air Force pilot. After all, she spent her youth in the Civil Air Patrol in Louisiana, flying planes on search and rescue missions. She loved all the dials, equipment and technology that go along with piloting a plane.
So, she said, it was all the dials, equipment and technology that launched her career in audiology and kept her enthralled for more than 30 years.
As an audiologist, Lynn experiences how lives can be changed in very positive ways. “I help people all day long. It’s the most amazing job in the whole world. I can’t think of anything else I would like to do.”
Helping people has been a theme throughout her life. In aviation, the search and rescue missions she participated in were mostly focused on people missing in the bayou. “We had adults with us but the kids were doing the leg work,” she said.
Training can begin at age 13, go all the way through high school and continue through college. “Air Force people work with them,” she said. “The children learn to become pilots under supervision.”
One mission in particular stands out in her mind. A man had fallen out of his boat and was hit by its propeller. “It chopped him up pretty good. We did find the person. I guess it was sad, but a woman was very happy to find her husband before he was eaten by alligators or fish,” she said. “It was very rewarding work.”
But, her first exposure to audiology turned her head. “There was not even a second thought. I’ve been doing this all these years and I just love it. I love the constant challenge.”
Her mantra: “We don’t give up.”
Recently, a daughter brought in her 96-year-old mother who needed new hearing aids. “She was almost deaf and money was a big issue,” Lynn said.
She was able to fine-tune the aids enough so that when the woman left, she could hear every word that was being spoken. “I couldn’t give up on her,” she said.
She also recalls a seven-year-old boy who came to see her because of a sudden hearing loss. He was irritable, not doing well in school and was beginning to have behavioral problems. Lynn was able to fit him with hearing aids and the change was immediate.
“He was like a normal seven-year-old,” she said. “I do this with adults as well. I try to listen to people and hear what they are trying to tell you. A lot of professionals walk into the room with an all-knowing attitude. I try not to do that. You trust your instincts. The success for the patients can be profound.”
She also adjusts and maintains cochlear implants.
Lynn has had her office in Flagstaff for one and a half years, but she had been employed at the hospital for more than 20 years.
“I needed a change. I just decided I needed a slower pace,” she said.
Lynn named her business Trinity Hearing Center because it includes three components: the patient, the family and the doctor.
Many of her patients are referred to her by other physicians. She also works with those with low incomes and fits them with pre-owned hearing aids or puts them in touch with government and civic organizations that can help with the cost. “I help them fill out the paperwork,” she said. And that’s just the beginning. FBN
Trinity Hearing Center is located at 724 Humphreys Street. For more information, call 928-522-0500 or visit www.trinityhearing.net.