What You Just Don’t Know: Henry Reina

Mckenzie Martinez, Staff Writer

Everybody have a similar morning routine: wake up, brush teeth, check phone. Unlike the rest of his classmates, however, sophomore Henry Reina must go through an extra step. Every day, he must put on his hearing aid.

“I was either born (with the disability) or it developed shortly after I was born,” Reina said. “I have had surgeries to fix the connection. My growth spurt kept severing it. I will never have 100 percent of my hearing back.”

As he entered school, Reina said his hearing disability showed up in his studies.

“My mom figured that when I failed my hearing test in first grade, something was still going on,” he said. “The teachers did not understand me so I wouldn’t do my work, but my mom would try to outsmart me to do my assignments.”

In middle school, Reina got his first hearing aid and said he could notice the change.

“It took a couple of days to adjust to how loud everything was,” he said. “It was a big shock because that part of my sense was cut off for so long, but I now have a good portion of that back.”

Reina said that he must be cautious with his hearing aids.

“I take them off when I shower or when I go to sleep,” he said. “It’s like glasses but more expensive, I wouldn’t want them to get wet. They cost $3,000.”

There are hypothetical situations that Reina said he must think about.

“My mom is concerned for whenever I start driving alone soon,” he said. “If I get pulled over, the cop may think I am resisting and shoot me. That’s what she is worried about, but I don’t really have a fear about that. I am more optimistic.”

Reina said he is still deciding on what to do next regarding his hearing, but he knows what is right now.

“I am stuck between sticking with a hearing aid and getting surgery,” he said. “I feel comfortable with my disability. I would not say I don’t have one, it just shows I am smart enough to get around that obstacle.”