Help for the Isola Family

If you are lucky enough to know Josh Isola, you know a man with a heart of gold. Although he is a man of few words, he has a large presence (6'5"), a witty and dry sense of humor, an immense work ethic and great integrity. He is a genius in the kitchen, and is passionate about making amazing food for people he loves. He is a man who has fallen down before, picked himself up and dusted off, and helped create a loving home with myself and two daughters who he has lovingly raised for the last 10 years.

On a very hot and humid day in mid September, Josh was out at the farm where I work, helping install some irrigation on my new flower field. He left without finishing the project or saying goodbye, which was odd. When I arrived home I found him very confused and unable to remember what exactly he had been doing for the previous several hours. He told me he felt strange, struggled to find words to express himself, and complained of a large blind spot in his vision that had just started. A week passed, and his symptoms did not improve. He was having memory problems and was having to concentrate very hard to perform daily tasks at work and home. 

On September 23rd, our one year anniversary, I convinced him that we needed to seek medical care. We skipped our plans to have sushi at our favorite spot that evening and went to the closest emergency room. Once the doctors viewed his CT scan, they informed us he had a mass and bleeding in his brain. He was transported to the Mayo Clinic that night.

The next few days were very difficult and emotional for Josh and I. He had brain surgery on Friday, and the extremely capable surgeons at Mayo were able to remove the entire tumor, the size of a ping pong ball, that had caused so much swelling and bleeding in Josh's brain. 

Josh is recovering well so far, as I write this three days post-surgery. He is able to walk with some help, he has a decent appetite, and his sense of humor is back. The parts of his brain affected by the tumor and swelling as well as the surgery are areas that control memory, problem solving, perception, understanding, language, arithmetic, spelling and vision. So far he has been able to recall things like the kind of vehicle he has and the color, and naming family members. His vision is still affected, and we have much work to do in the rehabilitation of his cognitive functions. The doctors cannot give us definitive answers as to whether he will fully recover those functions or not. Much of the outcome has to do with our own efforts to work on his rehabilitation in the coming weeks. I have faith that although the road will be long, we will get our old Josh back.
As I write this, we are still awaiting pathology results to find the nature of the tumor and whether chemo will be necessary.

One major source of anxiety for our family is that all the amazing care Josh received at the Mayo Clinic will be out of pocket. Josh's employer dropped health insurance coverage several months back, as Covid hit the business hard and many employees were furloughed and the rest went down to part time hours. I am in the process of getting health coverage from the marketplace, and kicking myself for not doing so months ago, before we racked up a bill that will likely be six figures. Presently we are unable to qualify for Medicaid or the hospital charity.

I am humbly asking for donations to help with the medical bills, rehabilitation bills, transportation costs (as Josh will be unable to drive until his vision is restored), and living expenses to keep our family afloat until Josh is able to return to work.

Please help if you can with a financial donation, keep the prayers coming for his recovery, and share, share, share this Gofundme campaign on social media! Thank you for keeping our family in your heart!



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Rebecca Isola 
Jacksonville, FL

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