Mandy Harvey Overcomes Hearing Loss on America’s Got Talent


If you haven’t watched this video, please do yourself a favor and watch it immediately. No, I mean it. Press play right now. I promise you’ll thank me after you’re finished. Because — please listen very carefully — hearing loss does not mean the end of your dreams.

If you don’t yet know about Mandy Harvey, it’s possible you don’t check Facebook enough. Maybe you read too much or have other activities going on — ones that are more meaningful than the internet. Maybe you live underneath the proverbial rock. Last week, Mandy Harvey appeared on America’s Got Talent and sang an original song (and played a mean ukulele). The song was gorgeous, and Mandy performed beautifully with a band accompanying her.

Unexpected Hearing Loss

That’s not the amazing thing, though. Musically, Mandy’s performance was flawless. Its miraculous because Mandy suffered from hearing loss during her freshman year in the vocal program at Colorado State University. She lost 110 decibels of hearing in both of her ears because of a genetic connective tissue disorder. Mandy dropped out of the vocal program. She moved home, discouraged by the turn of events.

Overcoming Obstacles

What did Mandy do in the face of adversity? Did she wallow in depression? Scroll endlessly on social media? Attend free library programs, shop for things she didn’t need online, or take up a hobby for which she had no passion? Maybe for awhile, but in the end, Mandy figured out a way to pick herself back up. As the song lyrics in her original song state: “If I would try, there is no one for me to blame, ’cause I know the only thing in my way is me.” In the face of adversity, Mandy chose to overcome, to try, and to pursue her passion.

How exactly does Mandy sing if she can’t hear herself? If she can’t decipher pitch through hearing? As the video indicates, she uses muscle memory, trusts her instincts, and feels rhythm through vibrations in the floor. Initially, her father encouraged her to try to read singing after taking a year off. (Mandy continued to practice the guitar, even after she lost her hearing.) She reads music, and because of extensive training and practice, she sings on key.

So, what do you do with your time? If you’re anything like me, you binge watch Netflix, procrastinate folding laundry, troll the Nordstrom website for clearance merchandise, and drink way too much coffee. (I hope you’re nothing like me.) In all seriousness, though, how do you overcome adversity in your life? Do you wallow, or do you seek to overcome? Because we all face adversity.

Despite significant hearing loss, Mandy Harvey astounds viewers on America’s Got Talent

Rising Above Hearing Loss

Many people in Southwest Florida experience hearing loss. Maybe your hearing loss is not as significant as Mandy Harvey’s was ten years ago, and maybe it didn’t come on as swiftly as hers. Will you choose to rise above this adversity and continue to pursue your passion? What is your dream? If you’re anything like me, your dream is not to appear on America’s Got Talent. (Simon Cowell totally freaks me out. As long as we’re on this topic, so does Heidi Klum; her complete perfection leads me to believe she’s actually an alien.)

Your dream may be to pursue non-profit work in the Naples community, meet someone and form a meaningful connection, or pursue some type of advanced degree or second career. Figure out your passion, and pursue it wholeheartedly, as Mandy Harvey continues to do. We can help you! The Decibels Audiology team of highly attractive, experienced, and knowledgeable audiologists are experts at helping people overcome obstacles and pursue their passions. Need some evidence? Check out our patient testimonials.

Our passion — our purpose — is helping you realize and achieve the lifestyle of your dreams in order to make our community better. Call us today for a free hearing exam!