Viewers fund surgery to save Detroit teen's voice

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jan 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-01 18:20:32-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — “Happy New Year” has a whole new meaning this year for one Detroit family. The Adams Family says 2019 was a nightmare, but because of 7 Action News viewers who responded to their story of heartbreak, they believe 2020 will be a dream come true.

“2020 is going to be the year of the miracles,” said Robert Adams.

“There is still faith left,” said Brian Adams.

Sixteen-year-old Brian just a short time ago did not have hope. He had been through so much.

In 2017, his mom was staying in northern Michigan evading a custody fight with his dad who lives in Detroit. She used butane hash oil to process marijuana - and caused an explosion in a motel room that burned most of Brian Adam’s body. She is now in prison and Brian is trying to heal.

In November Brian spoke about how doctors told him at any moment his airway could close and he’d lose his voice forever.

The Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston, the only hospital that thought he had a chance at survival, has been providing hundreds of surgeries for free.

But it told Brian’s family it didn’t have the experts needed to open Brian’s airway. It found an expert to bring in that believed his airway and voice could be saved, but there is a fee of $150 thousand.

So for the first time in two years it submitted a billing request to Medicaid and Molina Healthcare. It was turned down because insurance representatives said he needed to go to an in network doctor. The in network doctor told the family he wasn’t confident he could save his voice.

“I don’t get it,” said Brian.

7 Action News viewers heard his story and they didn’t get it either. They stepped up to do what the insurance company wouldn’t. Viewers like you came together and donated enough money for Brian to get the surgery.

“Everyone just saved my son’s voice,” said Robert Adams.

“I was super excited,” said Brian. “I found out as I was about to go into surgery.

Brian faces several skin graft surgeries before the operation on his airway. The surgery he hopes will save his voice and give him the freedom that comes with living without a tracheostomy is scheduled for April 2nd.