Middle Tennessee mom turns to Facebook to raise money for son’s hearing aids


A Pleasant View mom took to Facebook to raise money for her son’s hearing aids, something experts say is happening all too often in the current insurance market.

Aaron Farmer is a normal third grader at Coopertown Elementary, who loves playing video games, reading, and hanging out with his friends at recess. Lately one difference has become more and more apparent both in and out of school.

“I’m always asking the teacher what she says, and then she says ‘you should already have heard it,'” Aaron said. “I’m like, ‘I didn’t hear, I can’t hear.'”

Two weeks ago, Aaron’s mom took him to a Vanderbilt audiologist, who told them he has moderate hearing loss. It’s a hereditary condition his mom Stephanie has too.

“He did a lot of lip reading,” Stephanie Barzee said. “If he wasn’t really looking at you, he couldn’t hear you.”

The cost of each hearing aid is $1775 out of pocket. Barzee’s insurance does not cover it. The deductible is $5,000, which is money Stephanie doesn’t have.

As a mom willing to do anything for her child, she started a Facebook fundraising page.

“It broke my heart,” Barzee said. “It made me feel like less of a person, less of a mother. I felt like part of me should have just been able to write a check.”

Tennessee Justice Center Director Michelle Johnson said stories like this are becoming all too common, with sky-high deductibles and insurers not covering basic needs. She said lawmakers need to stabilize the marketplace.

“Who would have ever imagined that you’d have a child with boundless potential not be able to hear because my healthcare system is broken,” Johnson said. “Children’s futures should not depend on GoFundMe pages.”

This content was originally published here.