Ham Family Emergency Medical Fund

Hello everyone,

Thank you for coming to our page. We are reaching out for help in our time of need.

Since last fall, Phillip has been battling debilitating headaches that affect his vision. Phillip was born with a congenital cataract in his right eye and as a result has very limited vision. His headaches were becoming so severe that they would severely limit the use of his good left eye and completely debilitate what little use he has of his right eye. He also started experiencing numbness and tingling in his left arm and hand. As a result of these headaches and other symptoms, he was able to get accommodations through work but he was constantly missing work as a result of the headaches and other symptoms. He works a job where he is constantly staring at a computer for at least eight hours a day and a minimum of 40 hours a week.

On May 12, Phillip worked his last day of work and has been on medical leave ever since. In June, numbness and tingling started in his right hand. His headaches became even more severe than they previously were and the numbness and tingling in his left arm and hand became more severe and was followed by pain. In July, he also began experiencing numbness and tingling in his left leg and foot. The numbness, tingling and pain in his left arm and hand became a constant every day occurrence and as a result of this he has very limited function in his left arm and hand. The numbness and tingling in his right arm and hand persisted.

Throughout the last five months, Phillip has been actively seeking treatment by seeing his primary care doctor who referred him to a neurologist. The neurologist referred him to a physical therapist, massage therapist and chiropractor as he has a history of severe back pain as well. Along side receiving treatment through different specialists, he has also tried different regimens of pharmaceuticals and has had a slew of tests run on him.

In August, he obtained a referral from his general doctor to the Michigan Head and Neck Institute (MHNI for short) in Ann Arbor for a second opinion. He had his first appointment there where he received a formal diagnosis of Chronic migraines, Cervicogenic headaches, spinal stenosis and myofascial pain. This diagnosis was agreed-upon by his local neurologist and he is partnering with MHNI. MHNI wants to hospitalize Phillip for up to two weeks to run further tests to try and solidify his diagnosis and to try to break his recurrent migraine cycle that he has been suffering from for the last nine months. If they are able to break the cycle for long enough, a lot of Phillip’s symptoms will resolve themself as it is caused by the migraines. This hospital is located in Chelsea, Michigan which is approximately 90 miles from where we live.

Phillip has been fighting to get short term and long term disability ever since he went on medical leave, however, thus far he has been unsuccessful. At first he was told he did not have enough documentation so we have been trying to build a case. If his case gets approved they will pay him back pay at this point, however, it is not a guarantee or enough money to pay the surmounting amount of medical bills that we have as well as our monthly bills and medical insurance that is back owed.

Up until the beginning of August, we were financially getting by with just a little bit of help from family as Samantha was still able to work for a local ambulance company and attend school. The first Saturday in August, she was not feeling well and went to urgent care to get checked out. The doctor believed that she had COVID-19. They ran a Covid test and she was to be off work while awaiting the results over the next couple of days. A few days after her test she awoke in the middle of the night with chest pain, shortness of breath and very high blood pressure and pulse. She was transported to the hospital ER via ambulance. They ran extensive tests on her which all came back normal, as well as, a second Covid test which came back negative. The team in the ER decided to admit her due to her elevated vital signs and after a two days stay and many tests they diagnosed her with pericarditis (an inflammation of the pericardium which is the sack around your heart). She then found out a few days later that she tested positive for late onset of mono. This led her primary doctor to believe that the mono caused the pericarditis. She had several complications with the pericarditis that led us back to the emergency room three more times with another admission the last time due to the fact that she was extremely weak and collapsing from the pericarditis strain in her body.  During her last hospital admission, she was sent home with a prescription for a walker to aid her in getting around the house as she was unable to walk further then 15 feet. She also had several primary doctor visits throughout this time and some outpatient testing done as well. Since that two week span, she had been showing signs of improvement in her walking and able to walk well without her walker, however , she is still experiencing weakness in her strength and ability to carry anything over 20 pounds.  During this six week time period, she was able to continue keeping up with her virtual homework  during the summer and beginning of fall semesters. She was even able to attend her lab sessions during the first part of September for the Paramedic program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

On September 26th, Samantha began experiencing numbness and tingling in the right side of her face, and her right arm and leg. I rushed her to the emergency room where they ran some tests on her that ultimately alerted the doctors to a potential stroke. They administered a clot-busting medication called tPA and admitted her to the neurological critical care unit for observation and further testing. She spent a few days in the hospital and was just discharged. She is still experiencing some deficits on her right side due to this event that happened. She has a follow up with her neurologist coming up, as well as, starting physical and occupational therapy and some new medications. She will also be following up with her primary care doctor. We were told she did not have a stroke as there were no signs on the MRI, however, she is still experiencing these deficits even now. She still has a long road to recovery before she will be able to return to work and this has affected her ability to attend her paramedic classes and keep up with her virtual homework. if her symptoms do not improve, she will have to drop out of the Paramedic program and pay back in full the prestigious full ride scholarship that she received.  This scholarship is only awarded to two basic EMT's who want to further their education in the country per year and covers a substantial amount of tuition costs. This opportunity is a big part of the reason that she was able to further her education in EMS.

With all this being said she is not eligible for short term disability through work as she has not worked at her job long enough so we have been without income for approximately eight weeks now. Our family has helped us some but is not in a situation to continue helping us. We have considerably scaled-back on our bills and are paying only what is necessary for us to survive. The medical bills have already started piling up and I can only imagine how much more will continue coming in as treatment is in the process for both Samantha and I. This is extremely hard for both of us to do but we are reaching out for help. Anything anyone can do to help would be greatly appreciated at this point. Even a donation of five dollars would help us to put gas in our car so we can attend doctor appointments and Outpatient Treatment or to put towards our rent, utility bills and medications. We applied to try to get help through the state of Michigan, however, we were denied as we are both technically still employed and when working make too much money for assistance. We greatly appreciate if you have stuck around to read about our entire situation. Any amount can help and is more than appreciated. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to either Samantha or myself or message us through this go fund me page. We plan to keep this updated as both of our medical journeys progress.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Phillip and Samantha Ham

PS- As we touched on earlier, these funds will be used to pay our monthly living expenses and to go towards our medical expenses. These funds will go directly into Samantha and Phillip's bank account and be put to use from there.


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    • $250 
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Fundraising team: Ham Fam Strong (3)

Samantha Ham 
Kalamazoo, MI
Jay Rustenholtz 
Team member
Phillip Ham 
Team member

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