Hearing Aid Venturi
Marilyn Venturi's lost hearing aid, at right, next to her left-side one. Aside from some superficial scratches, the aid is as good as new, thanks to Costco staff (photo courtesy Marilyn Venturi)

A Duncan woman is sending a warm thank-you to the staff at Langford Costco for reuniting her with a vital tool: her hearing aid.

Marilyn Venturi was visiting the store on Friday and misplaced the hearing aid from her right ear.

“It must have been caught in the mask when I took it off and it slipped onto the ground,” she told Victoria Buzz in an interview.

“It was obviously outside. And unfortunately, before I actually got in my car.”

The Island local owns and operates a vineyard in Cobble Hill, just south of Duncan.

She said that the loss of the hearing aid came at a difficult financial time, as her business has suffered during the pandemic.

“Our business has suffered terribly, we’re surviving on our lonely little pensions, we’re not getting any income,” Venturi said.

“I realized I wouldn’t have been able to replace it.”

The hearing aid she uses is particularly pricey because of a variety of features, including Bluetooth connectivity that allows Venturi to link the device to her television, phone or car.

As luck would have it though, an unknown good samaritan — possibly a member of the Langford Costco staff — found the hearing aid and handed it in.

That wasn’t the end of the story, though.

With no obvious way to find the rightful owner, the chain of Costco staff wove its way to Joelle, a manager in the Hearing Centre at the store.

After some work behind the scenes, Joelle was able to find Venturi’s contact information and reached out to her on Monday morning.

“She was able to do some inquiries, and they were able to trace the serial number for her and tell her who it belonged to,” Venturi said.

“And then she had checked their record on membership and found out that I was a member. So she was calling me to find out if it indeed was my hearing aid, and that must have taken quite a bit of time.”

In addition to Joelle’s dedicated sleuthing, the Costco worker took her service even further.

The hearing aid had been badly damaged in the intervening days as it lay in the parking lot, possibly being run over by a car or stepped on by a passerby.

But Joelle decided to fix up the hearing aid, free of charge.

Venturi was floored when she went back to the store to pick up the hearing aid from the front counter.

“Except for the scratches, everything else had been replaced on it,” she said. “And I said, ‘what’s the charge,’ and he said, ‘there’s no charge.'”

The Duncan woman says she has been overwhelmed by the act of kindness and is hoping to connect with Joelle, whose last name she doesn’t know, and with the good samaritan who originally handed the hearing aid in.

“Costco employees certainly saved my bacon, there because it would have been horrible, just horrible, to go back to being half-deaf,” Venturi said.

“This sort of thing that just feels like ‘oh, my God, somebody cares about people they don’t even know.’ I’m thrilled.”

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