Help the Osterbergs on their Transplant Journey

"Wow, I didn't know so many people cared"

The early morning hours of April 30th were terrifying for Josh and Stacey and later for family as we learned more about what happened and how Josh was doing. Josh had been sick for the past few months and had a doctor’s appointment for the morning. Josh couldn’t fall asleep that night and at one point stood up and immediately fell face down. Josh’s mother came to the house to stay with the kids as Stacey took Josh to the hospital in Sheboygan. In the emergency room, the staff found that Josh’s blood pressure and sodium levels were at lethal lows, he had lost half of his blood, and his kidneys and liver were both in complete failure.  It took 8-10 nurses, doctors, and specialists four hours to stabilize Josh enough to move to the ICU where he spent the next eight days. 

After being discharged from the hospital only to be readmitted shortly after, Josh and Stacey met with their care team and decided the only way forward was to transfer to St. Luke’s in Milwaukee and hope to get on the liver transplant list as soon as possible. After about two weeks at St. Luke’s, Josh was discharged. He is now at home with his family and waiting to hear that there is a liver available for him.

At home, Josh needs 24/7 care which comes primarily from Stacey. Almost every day brings an appointment for blood draws, blood transfusions, or other procedures which help keep Josh stable until he has the transplant. Fortunately, Josh’s mom has been able to be the primary caregiver for their four children which is a blessing. The family is so grateful to have Josh home and stabilized. Nevertheless, every day is a challenge for them – financially and with daily living. Stacey has not been able to work and will be off for a minimum of two months after the transplant. The family will need help with medical bills, mortgage and utility bills, and groceries. The goal of  $10,000  will help Josh and Stacey be secure in their financial situation through the end of the year and be able to concentrate on Josh’s recovery.

If you would like to learn more specifics about their story, please see the Caring Bridge site . If you live in the Plymouth area, please click on “Ways to Help” and then the “Visit Planner” button to see a calendar with household chores, meals, and miscellaneous things the family needs help with.

Josh and Stacey feel very blessed for the support that their family and friends have shown in the past few months. They would be extremely grateful for any additional help you can give either by donating, sharing this page, or by helping them with household tasks through the Caring Bridge site.

As Josh said after being in the ICU for a few days, “Wow, I didn’t know so many people cared.”


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Rebecca Keller 
Barrington, IL
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