Miracle Ear in Sandusky is open Monday through Friday, and evenings and weekends by appointment only. Sandy Reyes, owner and hearing instrument specialist, is also heading out to the Danbury Senior Center a few times a month for appointments there.
For an appointment – or an application packet for the Miracle Ear Foundation – call the office at 419-624-0336.
By ANGIE ZAM
SANDUSKY – Twice a week, Alice Bagley jumps in the car at her home in Milan and drives herself to work in Sandusky. She spends her day welcoming patients into the office and chatting them up on the phone, fulfilling battery orders and other odd jobs around the Miracle Ear office.
“I’m just kind of a jack of all trades,” she says. “But I’m really not very interesting.”
She started her career keeping the books at a lumber yard after high school and hasn’t stopped working since. She – with husband Frank – moved to Milan from the Toledo area in 1954. Bagley earned her real estate license and helped out showing homes when her husband became a developer. The pair even sold their own home to dinner guests and other visitors multiple times, moving on to the next project.
“We probably moved 20-some times,” she says with a laugh.
But they always stayed in Milan with their two daughters and they were always open to new adventures.
They owned a restaurant – then called The Corner Cupboard – and an antique shop, Bagley’s true passion. That business was around for two decades and was named A & F Antiques for the pair’s initials and – Bagley pointed out – to appear first in the phone book.
Her business sense was just as sharp then as it is now.
In fact, her smarts are exactly what landed her the role of patient care coordinator at Miracle Ear, 4920 Milan Road.
Bagley had gone to the office for her husband’s appointment 15 years ago and quickly caught the eye of then front office assistant Sandy Reyes.
“I started talking to her and realized how smart she was,” said Reyes. And it wasn’t more than a few days later Reyes reached out and asked Bagley to join the staff.
“Oh my goodness,” Bagley recalls. “I never thought about doing that.”
But she accepted – and she and Reyes have been working together ever since. In fact – it was Bagley that pushed Reyes to earn her certification and eventually buy the business, taking over the Sandusky office in August 2018.
“She inspired me always telling me, ‘you can do it’,” said Reyes. “She has been a mentor to me and a very good friend.”
The pair – along with front office assistant Debby Mize who joined the staff eight years ago – now spend their days laughing together and with their patients, building friendships and providing the gift of sound.
“The biggest thing is we all three really enjoy the patients,” said Reyes. “We’re serious when we need to be but we have a good time.”
And the patients seem to notice, joining in on the fun and showing their appreciation for the ladies in various ways.
“It’s a surprise how many hugs and kisses we get,” Bagley said.
Then the others joined in … “and the cookies, and chocolates …” and as list goes on and the volume rises until the group gets to the good stuff: “dill pickles and wine!,” before breaking into laughter again.
“They make sure we are well fed,” said Mize with a smile.
In addition to taking care of paying patients, the ladies work with Miracle Ear Foundation to bring the gift of sound to those who cannot afford the hearing aids otherwise. Proudly displayed on the wall are some of the 60 local recipients of brand new hearing aids through the program.
“The recipients are treated just like any other patient,” said Reyes. “We see them three to four times a year.”
“And when we don’t see them, I call them” adds Bagley. “I’m a good talker. I do it because I like the people and it gives me something to do.”
“And because you love us,” added Mize.
Bagley nods with a broad smile.