Published November 17, 2014
The earthquake that rattled a wide swath of the eastern U.S. this week may have been a blessing in disguise for a 75-year-old who regained his hearing after the 5.8-magnitude tremor hit, myFOXdc.com reported Thursday.
Robert Valderzak, of Washington, D.C., lost his hearing in a fall on June 19 -- Father's Day. Since then the cancer patient has been at the Virginia Medical Center using a special speaker phone and an audio device system to communicate.
But on Tuesday, something strange happened while his four children were visiting and the earthquake rocked the region at 1:51pm local time.
When it was over, Valderzak, who had sat in silence for two months, sat up in his bed and told his kids, "My hearing is back. I can hear everything, people in the hallway."
As the quake shook him around in his bed, he said something happened in his head and he could suddenly hear and talk again.
Dr. Ross Fletcher, chief of staff at the Virginia Medical Center in northwest D.C., said Valderzak suffered "conductive loss, meaning that could be due to fluid or problems with the bones of the ear," along with nerve loss.
The doctor said the return of his hearing was surprising to many and further tests would need to be done.