Parents Raising $250,000 to Repair Boy's Hearing

PHOTO: The Rubin family pose for a portrait.  Parents of 5-year-old Carson Rubin (front right) are raising $250,000 to fix his hearing.
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Carson Rubin will begin kindergarten in the fall, but because of a medical condition he'll have difficulty hearing what his teachers and classmates are saying.

The condition, a hearing impairment called auditory neuropathy, can be cured with the surgery known as cochlear implants. But the surgery isn't covered by Carson's family insurance and at the price of $250,000, his parents aren't able to pay for it.

"The surgery would change his life," said Brian Rubin, Carson's dad. "He's never been able to interact with other children. When he goes to birthday parties and school functions, he's always left out."

The Monroe, Ga., couple is asking their community to help raise money for the surgery. They've launched a Facebook page called Carson's story, displaying pictures of their son and explaining what a difference the surgery would mean to him.

The Rubin's say their son, who is 5, is very bright and can grasp concepts well, but his trouble hearing has put him behind other students his age.

Brian Rubin's wife Shay had to give up her job as a second grade teacher to take care of their son.

John Weigand, the chief audiologist at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, says auditory neuropathy is an interruption of the way the auditory nerve functions.

"If you think of it as a wire, the wire is not transmitting the signal in a typical way," said Weigand.

According to Weigand, the cochlear implant surgery would bypass the hearing system that isn't working and stimulate it electrically rather than acoustically.

"Most hearing parents want their child to hear and be as much like them as possible. Cochlear implants achieve that," said Weigand.

The surgery forces people to learn how to read and write over again and since school is around the corner, time is of the essence.

Brian Rubin, who works in software development for a marketing firm, says his health insurance provider has a written exclusion for the cochlear implants surgery.

Christine Grow is a spokesperson for Coventry Health Insurance of Georgia, Rubin's provider. Grow told ABC affiliate WSB-TV that she could not comment about a specific case because of privacy concerns.

Grow added, "We are not aware of any small group plan in the state of Georgia that covers this type of surgery."

Brian Rubin says they family has raised a few thousand dollars so far.

Rubin tells ABCNews.com that they're trying to schedule the surgery for the near future, even though they probably won't have the necessary funds.

"We're going to have to take out a loan," he said.

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