Being His Eyes and Ears

Jacob Hartshorne (27) sits at his kitchen table looking at the colors on mandala drawings made by his mom in his home at 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant, on December 6, 2016. Hartshorne has CHARGE Syndrome along with being deaf and blind, he is missing his semi circular canals behind the ears which makes it hard for him to see while his head moves.

Jacob Hartshorne (27) sits at his kitchen table looking at the colors on mandala drawings made by his mom in his home at 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant, on December 6, 2016. Hartshorne has CHARGE Syndrome: “Coloboma of the eye, Heart defects, Atresia of the choanae, Retardation of growth and development, and Ear abnormalities and deafness.” He is also missing his semi circular canals behind the ears which makes it hard for him to see while his head moves.

Jacob Hartshorne and his caregiver, Rochester Hills senior Emily Lane laugh together as Emily tickles Jacob in his bedroom at his home, 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant on December 11, 2016. Lane has worked with Hartshorne for 4 years and is leaving this year after she graduates.

Jacob Hartshorne and his caregiver, Rochester Hills senior Emily Lane laugh together as Emily tickles Jacob in his bedroom at his home, 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant on December 11, 2016. Lane has worked with Hartshorne for 4 years and is leaving this year after she graduates.

Jacob Hartshorne (27) and his caregiver, junior, Cassie DeDoes walk together, arm in arm, to her car as they head to the Pixie for work on December 9, 2016.

Jacob Hartshorne (27) and his caregiver, junior, Cassie DeDoes walk together, arm in arm, to her car as they head to the Pixie for work on December 9, 2016.

Jacob Hartshorne plays in his jacuzzi at his home at 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant on December 9, 2016. Hartshorne loves the water and could spend all day in there if he could.

Jacob Hartshorne plays in his jacuzzi at his home at 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant on December 9, 2016. Hartshorne loves the water and could spend all day in there if he could.

(from left to right) Jacob Hartshorne (27) lays with one of his caregivers, Rochester Hills senior Emily Lane in his home at 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant on December 6, 2016. Hartshorne has CHARGE Syndrome along with being deaf and blind, because of this Lane is one of 17 student caregivers for Hartshorne.

(from left to right) Jacob Hartshorne (27) lays with one of his caregivers, Rochester Hills senior Emily Lane in his home at 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant on December 6, 2016.  Lane is one of 17 student caregivers for Hartshorne.

Jacob Hartshorne (27) gets his teeth brushed in the morning by his caregiver, St. Johns senior Danielle Schmidtman in his home at 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant on December 7, 2016.

Jacob Hartshorne (27) gets his teeth brushed in the morning by his caregiver, St. Johns senior Danielle Schmidtman in his home at 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant on December 7, 2016.

Caregiver, junior Cassie DeDoes gives Jacob Hartshonre (27) his highly bath in his home at 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant on December 11, 2016. Jacob takes two baths every day, one in the morning and one at night.

Caregiver, junior Cassie DeDoes gives Jacob Hartshonre (27) his highly bath in his home at 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant on December 11, 2016. Jacob takes two baths every day, one in the morning and one at night.

Jacob Hartshorne (27), lays in his bed underneath a laundry hamper, feeling the material as a way to calm down and relax in his home at 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant on December 6, 2016. Hartshorne has CHARGE Syndrome along with being deaf and blind, touch is one of his strongest senses.

Jacob Hartshorne (27), lays in his bed underneath a laundry hamper, feeling the material as a way to calm down and relax in his home at 910 S. Brown St., Mount Pleasant on December 6, 2016., Hartshorne is a very sensory person and touch is one of his strongest senses.

 

Jacob Hartshorne (27) of Mount Pleasant, Mich. was born with CHARGE syndrome. CHARGE stands for “Coloboma of the eye, Heart defects, Atresia of the choanae, Retardation of growth and development, and Ear abnormalities and deafness,” as stated by the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation. Jacob is deaf and mostly blind, he is mute, has mental development delays, and has scoliosis, because of these disabilities Jacob has to be under 24/7 care for his safety.

Jacob lives next door to his childhood home where his parents still currently live. He moved out when he was 21 to start gaining a sense of independence. Since Jacob needs 24/7 care the Hartshorne’s employ students as caregivers. Jacob currently has 17 caregivers. This is a lot, but it gives Jacob different people to interact with and different variations to his daily scheduled routine. The family has noticed an improvement in Jacob since he started living by himself.

“We like to use students about they are enthusiastic and they are studying in the field of disability. Each person brings a new perspective. It would have been easier for Jacob if he has the same person every day from 8-5, but we can’t pay the benefits,” Nancy Hartshorne, Jacob’s mother, explained.

In addition, Jacob has to receive Testosterone shots every Wednesday because his body does not produce the needed amount, if any at all. Since his caregivers are not trained to give the shots they have to go to the doctors office to have it administered. Jaco’s caregivers have to give him daily physical therapy and 2 baths a day. Jacob is a very sensory orientated person, touch is everything and he likes to look at the vibrant colors of pictures. He also enjoys the water and spends a lot of his time in the tub, his jacuzzi or his parent’s pool in the summer time.

Jacob also works at The Pixie and The Redbird, not for money but for a sense of purpose. He also has his own business called Jacob’s Cans, where he sends bags to the neighbor and collects cans to raise money to send to the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation.

There is a lot of love that Jacob receives from his caregivers and he gives it right back. There are bad days, good days and days in-between, but he is living his life to the best of his ability with the help of other for his eyes and ears.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s