Young Inventor Now Facing Schizophrenia Diagnosis

Joey Hudy's family faces mounting debt to help son
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2017 2:44 PM CDT

A science phenom known for impressing President Obama with his marshmallow air cannon at the 2012 White House Science Fair faces crushing debt after being diagnosed with a mental illness. Joey Hudy, now 20, is undergoing treatment for schizophrenia at a live-in facility in Tennessee that costs his family $25,000 per month, says AZCentral. According to Hudy’s mother, Julie, their insurance will not pay for the in-center assistance because they believe he can be treated at home. "It’s not that we don’t want him home,” she asserts. “I want that more than anything, but it’s not the right place for him unless we hired a psychologist to come live at our house."

Hudy began showing symptoms of his illness while working at an electronics manufacturing company in China. Experiencing paranoia and psychosis, Fox 10 reports he believed that he was being bugged by the Chinese government. After undergoing a mental episode, his parents brought him home earlier this year. After his White House moment shot him to fame, Hudy became Intel’s youngest intern at 16 and a staple and speaker at technology events. "He kind of became the poster boy for young makers and kids making," says Maker Faire cofounder Sherry Huss. This community has begun rallying around its young star after Hudy’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help offset his healthcare costs. At the time of this writing, it had raised more than $36,000. (More Barack Obama stories.)

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