Eleven-year-old Zachary Poirier recently received a donation of a new hearing aid after his was destroyed thanks to help from local business owners Chris and Don Guiley.

Chris and Don Guiley coordinated a donation last month that changed a local child’s life.

Gibsonton residents, the Guileys own A+ Hearing Center in Sun City Center and when they heard about 11-year-old Zachary Poirier, they did not hesitate to offer help.

Zachary, a student at Liberty Middle School in Tampa, suffers from significant hearing loss and has been wearing hearing aids for four years. Last month, his property, including the $5,000 hearing aids, was destroyed in the school locker room while he was in PE class.

“They cut the straps off his backpack, crushed his cell phone, took the camera out of the phone, cut up his jacket and cut up and destroyed his hearing aids,” said his stepmother Melissa Poirier. “I am just completely flabbergasted that some kid would do this to another person’s belongings and to a kid’s hearing aids. Without his hearing aids he is not able to learn in school.”

Melissa posted on Facebook about the loss of the equipment, and the fact that they can not be covered by insurance, and was quickly contacted by Chris who she knew from a networking group.

“After I posted a couple of angels surfaced,” said Melissa. “Chris and Don gave our boy the best Christmas gift and miracle. The ability to hear again.”

According to Chris, after hearing about Zachary’s misfortune, she knew she had to help.

“I contacted one of my suppliers, Starkey Hearing Technologies in Minnesota, and we worked together to get the right equipment for Zachary as soon as possible,” said Chris. “I told my representative that I didn’t want Zach’s family to have to pay for the hearing aids and they made that happen.”

The whole Poirier family is impressed by the new equipment, which Chris said is valued at more than $6,500 retail.

Through their business, A+ Hearing Center, the Guileys work with those affected by hearing loss, treating each patient as an individual offering specialized service. “We are in the business of helping people here and are just so glad this worked out for Zach,” said Chris. “The look on his face when he gave him the equipment was priceless.”

A+ Hearing Center is located at 1647 Sun City Center Plaza, suite 203 A and can be reached at 642-8200. Visit www.aplushearingsuncity.com.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.