Doctor's see-through masks could be a breakthrough for the hearing-impaired during COVID-19

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- At this point, we're used to seeing people in masks. But one set of newly-conceived masks are making life a bit easier.

Dr. Sheri Mello is an audiologist and many of her patients had trouble communicating and hearing through their mask. After doing some research, she found a solution.

"I just sent out an email blast to my patients asking anybody if they were sewers because I'm not a sewer," Dr. Mello said.

Her patients got to work, donating their time and materials to make cloth masks with a see-through window.

"I was like 'oh my goodness.' I expected them to do five but they were bringing hundreds," Dr. Mello said.

In just their first batch, Dr. Mello gave away 300 masks. Someone noticed her generosity and now she's a finalist for the Oticon Focus on People Award, given to someone who makes a difference for people who are hard of hearing.

"I couldn't believe it. I was not doing it for notoriety. We weren't doing it for financial gain. We were just doing it to help the patients," Dr. Mello said.

A true testament to the human spirit in these tough times.

"In the pandemic, we all need something to feel good about," Dr. Mello said.

Now Dr. Mello needs your help. She needs to most votes in order to win the Oticon award. Visit this link to vote.

If she wins, she'll get $1,000 for her office and $1,000 for a charity of her choice.
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