Deaf man has to pay thousands for new cochlear implant - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Deaf man has to pay thousands for new cochlear implant

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One local resident forced to choose between working and paying a high premium or being out a job to collect government insurance aid.

Insurance frustrations, it is something we can all relate to.

For 21-year-old Tyson Meader, his independence is at stake.

Tyson was born with a life-threatening infection. Doctors saved his life with an antibiotic, but that medicine took Tyson's hearing.

At five, Tyson's young life changed for the second time. He received a cochlear implant, an electronic medical device that helps the  hearing impaired hear.

Tyson grew up to participate in sports and make honor roll.

Now Tyson's cochlear implant, his life line, is out of date and a new one will cost him thousands out of pocket.

"One of the hardest things as a parent is not being able to help your child and watching your child struggle. He has never ever let it slow him down. This could potentially be that moment when that happens. It is hard to sit back and watch and not be able to do much," said Tyson's Step dad Nate Pilkenton.

Tyson works with his step dad at a concrete company and carries insurance through his job.

He is more independent than most people his age.  

"I make pretty good money for my age. It doesn't bother me to keep working; doing more heavy lifting," said Tyson Meader.

The government deeming Tyson not qualified for medicaid at 18 because he had a cochlear implant.

But now that so called independence hangs in the balance with a co-pay bill of nearly $5,000.

"Being self sufficient relies on his hearing. I can't keep him safe on the job sites with out him being able to hear. If he can't keep his career with us, who knows where he is going to go from here," said Pilkenton.

 Tyson has less than six months to come up with the money before his device is discontinued.

 He is asking for help:

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