A few weeks ago, Joel sustained an injury while going about his usual active lifestyle of physical fitness, gymnastics, and parkour. He treated it like any other injury, by icing it and resting, but the swelling persisted for over 24 hours and his lower leg became blue. He then went to the emergency room where they found a blood clot behind his right knee that was restricting blood flow to the rest of his leg, from the knee down. Unfortunately, the leg had gone too long without medical attention, and his leg muscles, absent of oxygen, started to break down and deteriorate, releasing high levels of toxins that overwhelmed his kidneys and liver which caused them to shut down. Joel had an emergent procedure where they opened the leg to relieve pressure that was restricting blood flow. His surgeon monitored his leg for several days, having Joel undergo multiple blood transfusions and sessions of dialysis to keep him alive. The hope was for the leg to show viability, for the infection in his leg to go away, and to revive Joel's liver and kidneys, but the leg muscles continued to worsen, releasing more toxins and making it impossible for Joel's kidney function to recover. Throughout the process Joel battled pneumonia, severe pain, fevers, countless pokes and prods and lack of sleep, just to name a few. Luckily, he was SMOTHERED with love and prayers, which kept him fighting. When the surgeon declared his leg unsalvageable, he underwent an above-the-knee amputation. The surgery was a success and Joel's organ function began to recover almost immediately. We are very hopeful for Joel's kidneys to fully regain function, but he has a long battle ahead. He will be undergoing outpatient dialysis for a minimum of 3 months along with physical rehabilitation to walk with a prosthesis.
Joel's faith and overall attitude is INCREDIBLE. I can't imagine what he is going through, and he remains positive, faithful, and amazingly strong. He has even retained his goofy sense of humor throughout the whole ordeal, which is pretty amazing.
For those who don't know, Joel is a fitness trainer, currently studying massage therapy and physical therapy. He has worked at several gyms from Malibu at the Biggest Loser Resort to 24 Hour Fitness and several places in between. He is a truly unique trainer, that spends countless hours tailoring very detailed meal plans and workout plans to each client with various goals and abilities. He is a truly gifted motivator, and he believes that through all of this terrible experience, God has created an opportunity for him to help others. How amazing is that?!
Need for Funds
Unfortunately, Joel has very limited insurance, which makes his recovery very difficult. We are trying to get him into a rehabilitation center where he can relearn to walk and do what he can to regain his health and start working again. Big changes are coming, and while he has an abundance of emotional support from loved ones, we are very limited on funds. This is an extremely expensive process, and we will truly appreciate every cent donated.
Plan for the Future
He's a fighter. Please help us get him the care he needs to have a full recovery and go on to use his talents to inspire others as he always has, and on an even larger scale than before, with a new demographic of people Joel can work with, enriching even more lives. Joel plans to use his traumatic experience to help others through similar experiences, and help them to keep positive and relentless, as he has been. He has big plans for the future, and wants to help others with physical disabilities reach their goals as well. Let's help him do it! Let's be a part of his amazing journey of helping others live with the highest quality of life, beyond normal expectations.
Everyone can benefit from the example Joel has set. Like Joel, let us be strong enough to turn set-backs into opportunities, negatives into positives, disabilities into extraordinary abilities. Please help us all do it together.
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