Jack Hammers's Bio
Jack Hammers was born on February 4, 2001 to first time parents Dave and Beth Hammers. Dave and Beth knew that there was something wrong with Jack early. At 7 1/2 months into the pregnancy, a sonogram showed severe abnormalities. The unthinkable was suggested, an abortion which Dave and Beth shot down immediately. They decided to wait until he was born to clarify his issues rather than perform in utero testing that could risk Jack’s health and safety. Jack was born with an incredibly rare form of dwarfism called Camptomelic Dysplasia. Jack is only the 8th documented case of this type of dwarfism as it is usually fatal in utero or very shortly after birth. This type of dwarfism causes severe health issues and has required constant therapies from the age of 3 months and countless procedures and surgeries.
Jack was born with severe orthopedic deformities (especially in his lower extremities), a cleft palate, micro penis, severe hearing loss with countless ear infections, sight issues, deformed vertebrae in his neck, undescended testicles and originally diagnosed as failure to thrive. Through the grace of God and a lot of help from some incredible people, doctors, teachers and therapists, Jack defied the odds and the grim predictions his parents were given when he was a baby. He has gone through endless surgeries, therapies, tests and procedures.
At the age of 14, Jack was a thriving teenage boy who graduated the 8th grade and was looking forward to starting high school in the fall. Despite all, Jack had grown into an incredibly intelligent, independent young man with a wickedly funny sense of humor and an uncanny ability to make anybody who spent more than 3 minutes with him fall under his spell.
On July 14, 2015, Jack went to the hospital to undergo yet another orthopedic surgery. The goal of this surgery was to remake his right foot and get his tibia (lower leg bone) back where it belonged so he could walk without pain. After the surgery and while he was in the recovery room, the doctor’s informed Jack’s mother that Jack had suffered a severe spinal stroke during surgery. The next two weeks were a nightmare of tests and meetings with medical specialists to figure out what had happened and what it meant for Jack’s future. The cause of the stroke is unknown but they do know that Jack is now paralyzed from the chest down. The severity of the stroke and the massive damage it caused to Jack’s spine has deemed his to never walk again. The doctors predict it will take at least a year before they will know the full effects of the stroke.
Jack & his parents live in a very small condominium in Bethesda, MD along with Jack’s 2 younger siblings. Unfortunately the condo is not livable for someone in a wheelchair. There are 9 stairs to get to it and very tight passage and doorways. The wheelchair can’t even make it into the bathroom. Jack and his mother are going to live with his maternal grandparents until they can afford to buy a wheelchair accessible home.