Amy Burke Black is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Harold Burke.
On September 1, 2017 we received the call that every parent prays they never receive, one of our children was in an accident. Joshua was riding his bicycle to work on this rainy dreary morning. While crossing the highway intersection he was struck by a truck. A family friend’s son was in the ER when he overheard EMTs and doctors discussing Joshua’s situation. He called his brother, Chris, who then immediately called me at work. I was on my way to the ER when Chris called me to inform me they had airlifted him to the trauma unit in Tennessee. I drove home to pick up my husband and we headed to Tennessee. While in route we contacted the hospital to learn more about Joshua’s status. They wouldn’t tell us anything over the phone but did say we needed to get there as soon as possible. For the next three hours we didn’t know if Joshua was alive. I speak for my husband as well as myself when I say we have never felt so helpless. After a very anxious three hour drive we finally arrived at the hospital. We were ushered into a small room to wait for the ER nurse to meet with us. We still did not know if Joshua was alive. We waited on pins and needles for answers until she met with us. Yes, Josh was alive. Once I heard those words everything else was a blur…I heard words like, severe, trach, neurologists…but the severity of his situation had not reached reality. The ER nurse brought us to the trauma unit waiting area. We had a quick orientation then slapped the visitor stickers on our shirts with T-11 written on them. This would be Joshua’s new address for many weeks to come. Eventually, one of the neurosurgeons came to speak to us. We were informed that Joshua would have to have an emergency surgery to remove bone from his skull to relieve pressure from his swelling brain. When the surgeon learned that we had not yet been in to see Joshua they allowed us to see him for a few minutes. As I think back on this I believe they allowed us to see him before the surgery because they were not sure if he’d pull through. As I stood in the doorway to his room I asked myself, “Who was this laying lifeless before me with blackened eyes?” IV’s, hoses, and wires were everywhere. The ventilator down his throat clicked with each breath of life it supplied. Was this my son? Was this Joshua who finally after so many years of fighting demons was clean and working? Joshua who was so excited about being engaged and expecting his first child? My mind screamed, “This is not my son!” It took days for the situation to become reality. Yes, this helpless soul, was my son. The first week is still a blur. I praise God for the wonderful family and friends that blessed us with food, finances, hotels and most importantly prayer. It has been almost eight month since we received that horrible phone call. So much has occurred during this time. Joshua to date has survived the initial brain injury, fractured bones in his jaws and cheek bone, a broken collar bone, several broken vertebra, a punctured lung, pneumonia, MRSA (in the brain), high temperatures, a blood clot, and numerous surgeries to his brain, face and today he will have his gallbladder removed. He is currently still in a coma and is in the respiratory wing of the Rockcastle Hospital in Mt. Vernon, KY. This is the fourth facility in which he has been placed. All hospitals with the exception of Rockcastle are 2-3 hours from our home. Harold and I have endured many months of separation as Harold stayed by Joshua’s side when I had to return to work and home to take care of the farm. We rejoiced as we watched our son improve only to be devastated when another infection took hold of him. There are no words for the emotional turmoil during this time. We have been blessed with a new grandson, Isaiah Joshua Tio Burke, born in November. He is a little Joshua. He brings us much joy! We anxiously await the day Joshua will be able to come home to hold little Isaiah. We would like to thank all of you for your gifts and prayers. Please continue with prayers as we endure this journey. As time allows I will write an update with the numerous miracles the Lord has performed during the last eight months. Our Lord has shown us His love in so many ways! I can’t wait to share them with all of you!
Prayers and shares!!God bless! Harold, Mardy, and Joshua Burke