Corporal Joshua was shot in the neck in January 2007. At this point he quadriplegic. His mother tells us that when he gets mail it just brightens his day! Update
Feb 2007 He is paralyzed from the shoulders down and working through rehab to regain any functionality he will have. Update
Feb 2008 Joshua is finally able to have an outing, although there were three medical personnel in tow. Mom says he loves to be able to see outside and finally he's been out to the park. He loves the cards and letters he receives, they help keep his spirits up and reminds him on a bad day, he is not alone in his battle to heal.Update
Dec 2008 Ground was broken recently to build a new home for Joshua. A non-profit group heard about Josh and wanted to help. This home will be fully accessible and barrier free.Update
2/16/2009 Here's a partial list of what Josh has been through......Josh has spent the last 20 months away from his home, his friends, and his family. Fourteen of those months have been spent inside the four walls of his hospital room, 800 miles away from home. He now can hardly speak, barely see, and cannot move even a finger. He says he's lucky to be alive.
Josh has had pneumonia 5 times, 10 UTI's, complete kidney failure and kidney stones. He fights everyday to relearn his speech and regain abilities to move.
'Homes for Our Troops' is proud to have presented a beautiful finished home to Josh on January 31, 2009. A home that he can call his own and that will allow him to move freely and become more independent!Update
: 2/26/2010 from Mom: Josh is doing pretty good. He suffers frequently from infections of one sort or another but his sense of humor is good and he has figured out how to communicate using letters of the alphabet.
He and Heather are no longer engaged but are still friends and she visits frequently. Joshua's new charge is Motley, a dog who loves him to bits and makes himself quite comfortable next to the wheelchair. Mom says the dog only looks to her or to Joshua's brother for treats. They love the cards you send. Mom says opening the package and reading the cards "not only lifts his spirits but it does mine as well."
Folks, a little birdie told us Josh's birthday is coming up....you know what to do. :) Update
: 6/2/2010 from Mom: Joshua has been having trouble with the kind of sores that occur when you are in bed or in a wheelchair all the time. One of our volunteers arranged to get him some medically approved sheepskin pads and when they arrived Mom said "His face just lit up."
We hope they make you more comfortable Josh, and that you can forget about bed sores very, very soon. Update
: 1/6/2011 from Mom about their holiday time together... First, she reports his sores are all healed. He was taken on a hunting trip with a sip and puff bow and got himself a 12 point buck. Mom says that young man was "walking on air and was bullet proof that day"...it made her heart sing to see him so happy as he told her about his hunting trip success!!!
According to Mom, Thanksgiving was awesome with all three sons, the grandsons, the little boy
Jacob took in for now and the nurse. They all had fun at Joshua's. He ate a bite of turkey and some sweet potatoes...razzed his brothers. All loved watching him laugh at his new nephew Noah on his lap...Noah kept reaching up to touch his face, laughing up at his Uncle Joshua. They were all able to meet Joshua's new caretaker who is upbeat, bubbly and has a great sense of humor.
It sounds like the family had a great reunion. They deserve all the happy times they can get.Update
: 10/19/2011 Joshua was the star at a benefit in his honor recently. A Harley-Davidson dealership sponsored a run to gather money for Joshua's family.
We also received more background information and thought you'd like to know....
"Joshua is a U.S. Marine. He is 6 feet tall and has brown hair and green eyes. He lived most of his life in Michigan until he moved to live with his dad at the age of 15. His dad is in the Army, so he moved to Pennsylvania, then to Alaska, then to Virginia-where he graduated on the honor roll, and where he holds the school and state record for wrestling. Josh loves to wrestle - in fact, he had two dreams: to become a Commercial Airline pilot, and to be a UFC fighter. His senior year he went undefeated, the only person in all of Virginia to ever accomplish this. His name still stands on a plaque on the walls of Woodside High School in Newport News, Virginia. He was also a drummer for his high school and for a small band he and some friends put together. Josh got scholarships to many top-notch schools - including Harvard. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to afford the remainder of the costs for that school and therefore had to reject the scholarship. Less than a week after graduation he moved back to Michigan to begin college there to become a commercial airline pilot. In 2002, he transferred to another University. With one semester remaining to attain his degree to fly large planes (he already had his small pilot's license), he ran out of funds to afford it - and therefore decided his best option was to join the Marines.
Josh has always been very physically fit, able to bench press over 400 pounds, and run 5 miles in under 30 minutes. In the Marines he was a NCO Corporal, expert marksman, and well known as the 'P.T. Stud'."
He's still upbeat and doing about as well as anyone."
Sending him cheer is something that is welcomed and you are doing a great job in providng that! Thank you. Update
: 12/22/2011 After all Joshua's been through getting used to his 'new normal,' it's uplifting to get good news about him. We recently received an upbeat email update on Joshua from Mom, Hazel:
"We had a small miracle happen this summer: Joshua was told that he had a 1% chance of speaking again, but not to hold out for that hope. When they hooked Joshua up to the vent at the VA this past summer at his annual checkup, though, he whispered to them!
Never tell a Marine that he will never do anything, or say he only has a 1% chance, because a Marine will take that 1% chance and turn it into a reality! It is still only a whisper, but that
whisper is like a pin dropping in a silent room, resonating in a sound that travels across a nation. He sees a specialist now, and they still do not hold hope, but hope is something we never let go of. Joshua was able to voice his thoughts for a few moments and wanted people to know he is "Grateful for everything being done for him." Such manna to a mother's heart!
Joshua had a very busy summer! A Polaris was donated and converted for his wheelchair to go in, and he spent a few hot summer days being driven in the Sand Dunes here at home, as well as riding through the woods on it. His ear-to-ear grins were worth everything, and not enough thank yous can be said for those who made it happen for him. He also got to ride in a Mustang on the racetrack before the races began. His reaction to that was spectacular!-Nothing like a red racecar on the track to bring out the boy in a man!"Update
: 2/17/2012 from Mom....Joshua had surgery on Valentine's Day to remove scar tissue from his trachea. This is in hopes of his being able to talk again. The surgery apparently went well and now we wait for the healing to take place and the swelling to go down.
We hope to hear soon that he can speak again. It would be an answer to many prayers. Update
: June 19, 2013 an email from Josh's Mom. "Joshua had a great Memorial Weekend, his pals snuck him on to the back of a Motortrike, like a motorcycle but with three wheels. They figure out how to strap him safely on and he had the time of his life. They would stop at each mile maker to check on him and see if he was ready to get back into his wheelchair in his van that followed. But with a mile wide grin it was keep going, faster, faster please! GUYS! He was in the parade, and had so much fun doing that, and all in all when the weekend was over, he was worn out and able to sleep, but it was the sleep of a very HAPPY Young Man.
He was able to go outside for a ride in the sunshine on Fathers Day, he had friends over who took photos of him...I can not wait to see them. His youngest Brother Michael did all the cooking and BBQ that day to honor his dad and their other brother Jacob who has two sons of his own now, Xavier and Noah Hoffman...They took turns riding with dad and Uncle Joshua in the converted Polaris that the company had fitted for him with his old wheelchair...Joshua is teaching us that a new normal does not mean you can not do what you love, you just have to redesign it and find a way to do it differently than you did before"
Date added to program: 2/15/2007
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