Josh's trip to the Mayo Clinic
$4,125 of $3,500 goal
Upon completing the race, both Josh and Amy felt understandably exhausted. However, after a few days, Josh did not recover as expected. He returned to teaching and his colleagues noticed that his speech was slightly slower and his movements and reactions were clearly delayed. He was having obvious difficulty with basic teaching duties. A friend suggested he see the school nurse, who upon speaking with Josh, was very concerned. She sent him directly to the emergency room questioning if he had suffered a stroke. Little did Josh know then, that this would be the beginning of a long medical journey.
The ER doctor found nothing wrong with Josh outside the normal recovery symptoms of running a race of that distance; however, the symptoms continued. Josh and Amy embarked on a journey which led them to several medical professionals including countless neurologists, otoloranogists, speech and voice therapists, and physical therapists. Josh has undergone various batches of tests and procedures including MRIs, x-rays, a spinal tap, vocal chord injections and a DaT scan to help with a possible Parkinson's diagnosis. He was referred to various local experts and spent considerable time at Johns Hopkins searching for answers and healing. After months and eventually years of doctor appointments, tests, and various diagnoses, the main symptoms continued on without much explanation.
More on the diagnosis from Josh's perspective...
"The most obvious problem is with my speech quality. My vocalization is dramatically slower than it should be. After the race, I struggled through most of the 2014-2015 school year but was forced to take the last quarter off because my voice just couldn’t keep up with the demands of teaching full-time. I continue to hope for the best but my voice and health seemed to have plateaued at an unacceptable level, which is very frustrating. Despite all the tests, there have been no discoveries of a neurological issue at this point in time. The doctors have explained that although there is no "hardware" issue in the brain, there is a "software" issue in the body. The official diagnosis at this point in time is a functional movement disorder combined with muscle tension dysphonia. In addition to the obvious vocal difficulties, my symptoms include unstable walking and balance, tongue tremors, periodic trembling and numbness in my limbs, and stiffness in my head, neck and facial muscles. Although we completely respect the doctors we have worked with, we continue to question if we are missing something."
And now for the good news! Josh has been accepted as a candidate for consultation and examination at The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota at the end of April. He and Amy are both excited and nervous to embark on another chapter in this medical mystery and are hoping to find answers and possible healing through the Mayo Clinic's expert staff of doctors. Typical appointments at Mayo Clinic range from 4-10 days. Josh has appointments scheduled for three days, but has been advised by the clinic to plan to stay longer. At this point, they have prepared to stay for a week.
Because Josh, Amy, and their children are dearly loved by their friends and family, they are often asked how they can be helped. With this gofundme opportunity, we now have a tangible way to support them in a way that only a loving community can do together.
The trip to the Mayo Clinic will be an unbudgeted expense for their family. If you feel led to help with their flights, hotel and food expenses, please donate any amount to this fund. I promise you it will be received by incredibly grateful hearts.
We have surpassed the goal in only one day thanks to your incredible generosity! I am ending the gofundme opportunity tonight. What a gift to be able to allow Josh and Amy to embark on this trip without financial stress.
My heart is full.
Dear friends and family,
When our sweet friend Heidi came to us asking for our blessing to set up this account, we were hesitant to say "yes". We know each and every one of you has your own needs and even felt guilty about the idea of accepting "donations". She convinced us that it was a way others could show their love for our family and obviously she was right. We are humbled and blown away by the donations and support you have shown us in just one day! You have blessed us beyond what we imagined. We humbly thank you for each and every donation and comment. Not one has gone unnoticed or unappreciated. We feel so very loved. We are so grateful knowing that this amount will cover our hotel, flight, and food expenses for this trip to Mayo. It has also been an amazing thing to share this generosity with our children and discuss how excited we are as a family to bless others in this way at some point in time when we are able to do so. Thank you again for sharing in this journey.
Josh and Amy
Hi, my name Is Shaneik Watson and I am making this gofundme on behalf of my 29 yr old Aunt, Shanna Chen, and her 7 yr old daughter Brianna. On Friday, December 15th, 2017 Shanna went to the emergency room at Vassar Brothers Hospital because she was experiencing severe headaches. As a result of that visit, she and our family was devastated to find out that she had 2 brain aneurysms and would have to undergo emergency surgery that following morning. Shanna went into surgery for what was supposed to be a 4-6 hour procedure, It ended up being 15 hours. The doctor explained to us that during the procedure her brain began to bleed out and swell so they had to work vigorously to stop the bleeding and removed a portion of her skull that couldn’t be replaced due to the swelling of her brain in the process. We were informed today that her skull cannot be replaced for a few months during which time she will have to wear a helmet to protect her brain and go through rehabilitation to regain the full function of her brain. My mother is the oldest of my grandmothers eight children and my aunt Shanna is the youngest. She is more than a aunt to me and my sisters, she was raised by my mother in the same household as us all of our lives. I cry as I write this because I am still in disbelief that this is even reality right now. Shanna is a strong woman and by the grace of God the results of her cat scan show no permanent brain damage but she still has a long road ahead of her before she fully recovers. Shanna works as a PCA and she is a single mother who like many other people in the world live paycheck to paycheck so we are asking for help to keep her and Brianna’s home and for any other expenses that may occur during her time of healing. As of right now, Brianna does not know the extent of what has happened to her mom and we are trying to keep things as normal as possible for her and with the holidays nearing we don’t even know how to break the news to her but the last thing we want is for Brianna and her mom to have to go through this ordeal and end up losing their home and what sense of normalcy they had in their lives before this unexpected tragedy. Anything you can give will be greatly appreciated and even if not a monetary donation we are asking for prayers from all in our time of need. Thank you for taking the time out to read on Shanna and Brianna’s story. https://www.facebook.com/shaneik.watson/posts/10156114225392342