On the afternoon of Friday before Veteran’s Day, November 10, 2017, David Moody and his son Joshua were taking the afternoon off to enjoy a drive in Joshua’s 2002 Toyota MR2. They had been taking turns driving on a winding park road. David was driving when the two topped a hill into a sharp right turn. David lost control, left the paved road, and hit a tree. David suffered a crushed pelvis and Joshua, a traumatic brain injury. David has had his pelvis reconstructed with plates and screws. Joshua is in the ICU at UAMS in Little Rock with a traumatic brain injury.
In the first three days, Joshua showed good early signs by responding to commands to wiggle his toes, give a thumbs up, hold up the correct number of fingers, and open his eyes. On November 15 at 3 a.m., Joshua’s brain began to swell rapidly, and an emergency craniectomy, the removal of portions of his skull, was performed to give his brain room to swell. After the surgery, controlling his body’s temperature became a challenge. Doctors told the family that this is not unusual with a traumatic brain injury. For several days, it was a constant balancing act between sedation and temperature. The sedation slowed his body down and limited shivering and shaking, which caused his temperature to rise, but also significantly limited his cognitive response. His temperature fluctuated between 101 and 103 degrees F, and he spent almost an entire day under cold blankets with ice bags under his arms and around his neck. Temperatures that spike frequently, or are sustained in this range, can cause further injury to the brain or death.
A change in medicine has given Joshua better temperature control. His temperature is still consistently above normal but not fluctuating into higher, more dangerous ranges. He received some breathing treatments to keep his lungs clear, and he underwent a tracheotomy on November 24th to help with his breathing, as well as limit his risk of lung issues. On November 25th, an MRI of Joshua's brain, while still inconclusive in some areas due to swelling and other factors, did not show any major areas of the brain that were damaged beyond bruising.
This will be a long, hard journey with many ups and downs over months and even years.
Before the accident, Joshua was an entrepreneur. As a junior in high school, he and his cofounders started Innovis Labs. At age 17 Joshua developed hardware, branded gear and a mobile app with core game features and technologies from combat video games for enhanced live-action airsoft, paintball and laser tag matches. Joshua's startup was one of three companies to receive a $150K investment from The ARK Challenge technology accelerator program in 2013.
The accelerator had 92 applicants from 15 states and 15 countries. Only 10 companies were accepted into the program to receive mentorship and seed investment. Joshua’s company was the only U.S.-based company among the three finalists selected for potential follow-on investment.
Additionally, Joshua raised another $100K for product development. In recent years, Joshua has designed websites for a variety of organizations, including Easter Seals. Joshua was working on what he believed to be an industry-changing app in the construction industry before the accident.
Joshua showed an interest in product development very early in life and taught himself how to code, develop printed circuit boards and design websites and hardware. He chose to pursue entrepreneurship instead of attending college when he finished high school. He was “all in” as a young entrepreneur. Now he is facing his most difficult development challenge. We have seen Joshua rewire and redesign many things. We are saying that he, with God’s help, is faced with the most important and challenging rewiring project of his life.
From Joshua's father, David Moody:
As a family, we have a long road ahead. The love, support and prayers of our friends and family will be critical to Joshua’s recovery. We know we will also have significant financial challenges as medical bills mount, and with Joshua unable to earn an income for what could be years, and us, his parents, missing a great deal of work to be with him during his recovery.
We humbly request your love, prayers and financial support for Joshua.
A note from Jeannette Collins, family friend and former Director of The ARK Challenge:
Below are some of my impressions of Joshua after getting to know him in the The ARK Challenge program and beyond. I wrote this back in May of 2016 for David, and every bit rings as true today as it did back then:
Josh is an intelligent, ingenious, thoughtful and seriously creative individual. I have told many a mentor and friends of the program that if I were able to invest in individual careers, as opposed to individual startups, I would become an angel investor in Josh Moody. The internal rate of return would be off the charts. It is evident that he came to the program already a mature person for only having been on this earth for 17 years, but seeing him evolve past the program as a creative entrepreneur and businessperson has been a very rewarding experience. Josh deferred college to lead and grow his gaming startup, which has been an arduous journey to say the least. I have seen him pivot his business with an admirable lack of ego, manage delicate cofounder relations with intuitive grace and negotiate IP battles with a gaming industry giant with great patience.
As an inventor, he has remained on the cutting edge of innovation by developing products that converge digital and physical gaming. Because of the retail connectivity here in Northwest Arkansas and his own ingenuity, Josh was able to make connections with worldwide brand Cybergun and pen a distribution partnership during The ARK Challenge. He worked diligently at a self-directed pace that led to Overwatch going live in the App Store just over a year after the accelerator program. He weathered a trademark suit to a successful resolution over the following year, and now his latest app Battlemap is live in the AppStore and Google Play. I have been continually impressed by Josh’s unstoppable talent and hunger to create value.
On behalf of everyone in Josh's ARK Challenge family, we're all rooting for you, Josh! We are committed to helping in any way we can on your journey to a full recovery and return to putting your "dent in the universe."
In speaking to David, the doctors say that he and Josh should not have survived the accident. Josh should not have survived his brain swelling at 3a in the morning almost two weeks ago. However, all of us who know the Moody family understand that these are the kinds of folks who, simply, beat the odds.
The Moody family needs our help. David and Josh have long been integral leaders and community members helping to drive the Arkansas startup ecosystem. David has volunteered countless hours to mentoring startup founders and helping small business owners. Josh has been a beacon of inspiration to many aspiring entrepreneurs, and he has proven himself to be the very archetype of creative entrepreneurial talent that we strive to attract, develop and retain here in Arkansas.
David's pelvis was crushed and reconstructed with eight stainless steel screws and a plate; he is wheelchair-bound with likely a year of recovery ahead of him.
Josh is coming out of the fog from being sedated for over two weeks since the accident. He is now off the breathing and feeding tubes. While Josh's brain swelling is diminishing and he is showing signs of recovery (tolerating the trach tube, opening his eyes, tracking people in the room as they move and squeezing the hands of his mother and father), he has a long, difficult path to a full recovery.
• Josh's craniectomy required removal of some pieces of his skull, and in the coming months, those skull pieces will need to be replaced.
• Josh requires round-the-clock nursing care.
• Josh will need months, possibly years, of physical, occupational and speech therapy with specialists.
Please help us support the Moody family as Josh heals from the accident with his parents by his side.
Keep up with Josh's progress through David's eyes at Caring Bridge: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/joshuamoody/journal
If you have an interest in helping us with our fundraising effort, feel free to contact us here.
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