Hello there. My name is Johnathon Hamilton. I am a 25 year old born with unfortunate health conditions. When I was in my mother’s womb my umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck suffocating me and eventually it snapped. Due to this I had severe loss of oxygen. This caused complications to my genetic system causing me to lose my hearing and my short term memory. My hearing loss is very severe. The audiologists found that I can’t hear high pitch noises or decibels in the high range. Also I’ve lost about 50% of my hearing compared to a normal person.
Growing up I was fortunate to live in an age where hearing aid technology exists. These powerful devices have made it easier for many to hear and converse with the world around them much like you do. I was fortunate enough to have parents who provided me with the luxury of wearing hearing aids growing up but prices have risen as the technology has improved. The last time we went to purchase them, we ended up just getting one and that cost us over $3,000 and for some odd reason, they are not covered by insurance. We had hoped to get a second one but other medical issues kept arrising.
Despite what many doctors believed and knew about my complications I was able to live a fulfilling life and achieve a lot. I’ve graduated from Gavilan Community College with an Associate of Science degree in Advanced Technical Computer Graphics Design. Unfortunately, because of my inability to learn quickly, due to my short term memory disorder, I have not been able to find full time employment. I was hired at Lowe's as a cashier but they quickly discovered I was unable to remember how to run the cash register after just a couple of days. I literally have to do a skill for 100 times or more before it gets transferred into the part of my brain that can hold it as a memory. Lowes was kind enough to keep me on as a Customer Service associate,
Loader and Parking Lot associate where I was working approximately 25 hours a week. Since the loss of the hearing aide, they have reduced my hours to around 10.
You see, my job requires me to be alert either listening to the overhead speaker, or paying attention to my surroundings in the parking lot at all times. My hearing aid helped me to hear behind me to keep me aware and made communicating with people a lot easier in any setting. Unfortunately this past month I was working on a rainy day when misfortune befell me. I took my hearing aid off and put it in my pocket to keep it dry. But throughout the day it disappeared. I spent a good 2 hours at Lowe's backtracking my steps walking around the store and the parking lot but I was unable to find my hearing aid. I checked the camera feed, emptied trash cans, checked my locker and clothes but it was gone.
This isn’t the first time I’ve lost my hearing aids. I’ve lost them many other times at home. I always put them in a safe place but end up forgetting where that place is. Eventually though I find them after searching for a while. This has happened on numerous accounts throughout my life. Unlike my hearing where I was able to get devices to help me hear better, I haven’t had much luck in improving my memory capacity. I was told that I have less than 1% of a normal human hippocampus (which is the area that stores short term memory). Due to this I forget things very easily. A perfect example of my memory loss can be described as the “doorway effect” where as soon as you leave a room you forget why you left in the first place. I was also diagnosed with micro seizures. A neurologist put me on medication running approximately $1,000 a month.
My neurologist was able to get me into UCSF which has some of the finest faculty and staff in California. I did numerous tests in order to help them understand my condition and I’ve posted pictures of the write up concerning the results that Neuropsychologists found during their tests to help you better understand how severe my memory loss is.
I have started this account in the hopes of being able to raise money to help afford another pair of hearing aids which, if I can get the ones with GPS would certainly help me to relocate them when I have to remove them for any reason. I am trying to get another job to help earn money and my parents are willing to help with what they can. I will be selling what I can and my Mom has offered to do some fundraisers but the medical bills will continue to come in and I have no idea what will happen when I turn 26 and can't be on my parents insurance plan, which btw, does not cover hearing aides.
I need to raise in total around $1,500-$4,000 for low end to high end hearing aids. But to get two of them I’ll need between $3,000-$8,000. I'm also asking for additional funds for more testing and treatment for the memory disorder. I'm hoping there is someone, somewhere that can help with this.
I’m still going to be working hard to make as much money as possible but any amount you can donate would mean the world to me and get me that much closer to hearing clearly again.
"The above was written by my son, Johnathon Hamilton. I am really proud of his writing ability, and hope he inspired you to help him reach his goal of getting new hearing aides. Here's a tiny bit of background:
Johnathon is a twin. He spent the first month of his life in a hospital while his twin was able to come home and be with family. We where we were told Johnathon would probably never eat or breathe on his own. He has come a very long way with the team of doctors and family surrounding him. Unfortunately even the best doctors miss things. Stanford docs evaluated him and missed that his hippocampus was damaged at birth due to either the seizures or lack of oxygen when his umbilical cord snapped during delivery. Knowing this information would have allowed us to target and work with the issues he faced, we could have gotten him on disability at a very young age.
I am thankful to God that we were moved to revisit his condition after we realized how hard it was for him to enter the job market. At age 24, his new neurologist did the needed tests, including an MRI which clearly showed the brain damage and an EKG which showed micro seizures which could explain his fainting spells. We will now look into state disability for him but now we are being told that since we didn't apply before he was 18, there's a good chance he get the services he needs. Even if we can get disability which could work with his audiologist to get the needed hearing aides, it could take months. Johnathon needs to hear now. Between his memory issues and hearing, he doesn't stand a chance in the job market, remember, I said even Lowes reduced his hours to 10 hours a week. His family and I just want him to live a "normal" life, the first step is bringing back his hearing. "
Thank you in advance for your generosity and kindness.
P.S. The GPS in the new hearing aides only works with an iPhone at this time. Johnathon does not have an iPhone so that's another expense.
P.S.S. We are having Johnathon evaluated for a sleep disorder on Friday. I will update as soon as we have a diagnosis.
- Lowes Employees
- Joy P