Help Josh Heal Fund

$10,085 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 118 people in 27 months
Kara Dietz Pappas
on behalf of Josh Macdonald
Throughout life there are a handful of people we meet who would do anything for anyone. Our amazing friend, Josh McDonald, has done so time and time again - not only for friends and family - but for his country and community as well. Today we're asking you to join us in helping him.

Josh is an Air Force combat veteran as well as a first responder, having served as a firefighter and paramedic for the last decade. He has worked for various departments starting his career in Casper, WY. He also serves on the MAFIT Fire Investigation team, investigating fires across Colorado.

While working for the Berthoud Fire Protection District in March of 2016, during the investigation of a devastating and fatal fire, Josh fell through an unstable floor. He suffered significant trauma to his left knee, requiring hardware to be implanted for stabilization.

Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, the surgically-implanted hardware carried Staph bacteria, which Josh’s body worked to fight for months. On Thanksgiving night, his body went into sepsis. He was airlifted to Anschutz Medical Campus and nearly lost his left leg.

Though his limb was saved, the surgery Josh underwent meant the removal of substantial bone, muscle, ligament and tendon tissue. The Infection turned to MRSA and a PICC line was put in place so he can receive round-the-clock antibiotics. He knew that his battle would be uphill from that point, with eight additional surgeries on the horizon to rebuild his leg. What he didn’t expect was that the antibiotics, aimed at eliminating his infection, would begin attacking his kidneys.

Josh has been admitted to in-patient services at Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital in Loveland, where he is expected to remain until at least mid-January. He is on dialysis, being treated for his infection, and undergoing what physical therapy he can endure.

The disappointment of spending the holidays in the hospital, and general concern about the serious illness he faces would be enough. But being unable to work is raising an entirely new set of concerns for Josh – simply paying the bills.

Being the humble person Josh is, always coming to the aid of others, admitting that he needs help now is far from easy. But the bills are still coming, and Josh’s daughter, Kaycee, still needs support. Now it’s our turn to step up and our turn to respond.

Your gift, to help this hero focus on his healing, would be a tremendous support this holiday season. Whether you’re able to give just $5 or $10, or you’re blessed with the resources to give more, every dollar will give Josh peace of mind that things at home remain afloat.

In addition to your gift, please join us in lifting Josh, his girlfriend Lauren, and his daughter Kaycee, in prayer. Josh is a strong, resilient, honorable man, who is being tested to the limit right now. Let’s join together in thanking him for his service and sacrifice – on behalf of our country and community – by supporting him this season.

With deepest thanks,

Kara & Neil Pappas
+ Read More
Keeping everyone updated - here is the latest from Josh:

I apologize for waiting so long. Three weeks ago I started having increased pain in my leg and it was hard to spend any time in my prosthetic leg. It literally felt like someone was just wrenching on my hamstrings. I had increased pain throughout the front side of my leg. I had a doctor's appointment the next week and just thought I could tough it out until then. At the appointment they took x-rays and a CAT scan and it showed that my scar that runs anterior-posterior had actually grown into my bone marrow causing and invagination, because of this my femur bone hadn't fully healed. Then the scar that runs post lateral was growing into my hamstrings. On the CT scan they also found a small pool of fluid inside my marrow just above where the cut was. I'm going in for surgery on the 16th. They will take off an inch-and-a-half half of bone and cut out my hamstrings reattach them and do a scar revision. They are also going to fix my neuroma and take some fat and build up around my stump. I appreciate all the prayers and ask that they keep coming as I get through this next hurdle. Just when I thought things were looking up BAM something else happens. Thank you all for all your support Lauryn Ashleigh and I appreciate it. Looks like we may be saying I DO in the hospital on 04/25/2018.
+ Read More
SO ECXITING: BRAGGING MOMENT!!!!! Today marks 2 months and 3 days since Josh had his surgery. I'm proud to announce that today he received his first prosthetic and he was able to take around 30 steps with it. It was very emotional watching him walk again but seeing the happiness in his eyes knowing he is getting his life back one step at a time was so amazing. I am so incredibly proud of him and all the hard work he has been doing at physical therapy these last 2 months. Keep up the good work babe because you have a wedding coming up and I need you standing next to me!!!! I LOVE YOU JOSHUA!!!!!!
+ Read More
UPDATE FROM JOSH: I got the picc line taken out of my arm last week. And that was a huge blessing no more IV Vancomycin. The doctor said my blood work looks good my white cell count is where it should be my kidneys are looking better. Prayers have been answered in the form of the doctors saying that the fear of any residual infection is gone at this point. I'm still living in a hotel and that has been hard. However they have a gym and I just got cleared to get in the pool and work my leg, so I'm looking forward to that. The physical therapy is still daunting and everyday it seems like it's harder and harder to get up and get things done with just one leg. I have had to adapt too the situation that I'm in with just having one leg. I use a lot of different unconventional methods to get things done but they seem to work. I have met so many wonderful people through this experience and that is a blessing that's come out of losing my leg. Fireman from across the Nation have reached out and encouraged me and have given me ideas and tools to get myself healthy enough to get back to doing what I love. I appreciate everyone's help and everyone's encouragement and prayers. Sorry if I don't get back to all of you, but eventually I will thank everyone. I'm still at the same Holiday Inn off of Crossroads. I have to stay here until they get my house completely ADA compliant. At the bare minimum at least some ramps in and some changes to the bathrooms and the carpet taken out. If anyone wants to swing by for a visit just call or text.Thanks again for all the love and prayers.
+ Read More
Update from Josh:
I have been moved from the hospital at St Luke's Presbyterian in Denver to a Hotel the Holiday Inn Express room 110 off Crossroads Boulevard. I'm here to get my infusions and to continue my physical therapy. My home needs many renovations before I can go home. Thank you again for all your support and all your love and all your prayers it means a lot. Especially right now as this is one of the hardest times I've gone through through this experience. With getting my shrinker put on. Trying to get geared up for my first prosthetic. I want to thank all of the staff at the Spaulding rehab and St Luke's Hospital.
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update
Renee Juarez DeVries
15 months ago

Josh, I heard your story and went right to my knees. Thanks for all you do for us, everyday, that we take for granted. God will give you a full recovery. Stay tuff my friend.

+ Read More

$10,085 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 118 people in 27 months
Created December 18, 2016
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
Adam Shockey
11 months ago

As a member of the Lafayette Professional Firefighters Local 4620 and Air Force member, please accept this donation from all of the brothers and sisters of Lafayette Professional Firefighters. Stay in the fight and always let us know how we can help.

12 months ago
Rick and Evonne Corbin
12 months ago

Our thoughts are with both of you. Hears to healthy healing!

Lynne Turnley
12 months ago

Good luck and wish you the best for a smooth recovery.

Chelsea & Clint Stockton
13 months ago

Love and prayers to you Josh! You are such a blessing to our family!

Joshua Kreimier
14 months ago

Stay strong. Love ya buddy.

Kat Calato
14 months ago

God Bless and make you stronger with each passing day. xoxo

Renee Juarez DeVries
15 months ago

Josh, I heard your story and went right to my knees. Thanks for all you do for us, everyday, that we take for granted. God will give you a full recovery. Stay tuff my friend.

+ Read More
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.