Most of you may know and have shared in Josh's journey, however, for those who have not, here's his story.
As a 3 time liver transplant recipient, Josh (now 25 yrs, old) has been through a lot. His journey began at age 1 1/2 when he had his first transplant, due to Hep A from improper handwashing at a daycare. Following this transplant, Josh endured continued battles with rejection (chronic and accuse), kidney issues, blood disease, pain and further complications related to his low immune system.
Since then, he has had 2 more liver transplants; countless surgeries and hospital stays, locally and at the U of M. He continuously struggled with fitting in and having a normal life, one away from the seriousness of his health and hospital stays/appts. Just to experience the daily grind of a regular child, student, teen and now young adult, has been something Josh so longed for, yet was never able to experience. It's been a challenging and tough life physically, emotionally and financially.
A month ago, after multiple hospital stays (influenza and pancreatitis) Josh was given an estimated life expectancy, months (according to his doctors/team). This has been a very real and hard number to hear and deal with. There will not be another liver transplant for him, his body can not handle another surgery. There are no words. This has been so heartbreaking to endure with him. I'm still not sure we've come to grips with it all at this time.
We pray for continued good care and treatment to the end, providing him comfort, love and the hope of some good days in there, with him and for him. And, prayers that Josh keeps faith alive through this all. That is our greatest prayer!
Currently, Josh is unable to work. He is too ill, exhausted, weak and suffers from chronic pain. Any help would also ease the burden of the on-going medical bills and expenses that accompany his treatment/life.
Through it all, Josh has kept a kind outlook, goofy sense of humor, continues making good friends and found a second family with his nurses, doctors and transplant care team and volunteers. He loves the long conversations with the volunteers; sharing life stories, talking about cars, intersting facts that only he knows, current events, his 3 younger siblings and his dreams.
Thank you so much for your kind consideration and continued support and prayers!
We are blessed to have you all in our lives,
Sheila (mom), Josh and family
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