2017 - Children's Champions

More Than Meets The Eye

Joseph’s Story

If you were to meet Joseph today, you would see a very happy, energetic, funny, and loving 4.5 year old. He loves to laugh, eat hot dogs and pizza, play with his friends, and spend time with his family. However; there is much more to Joseph than meets the eye.

Joseph was a micro preemie, born at 24 weeks gestation. At birth, he weighed 1lb, 5oz and was 11.5 inches long. During his eight month stay at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Joseph spent six months on a ventilator before his lungs were finally strong enough to function with the assistance of a c-pap machine. He underwent several surgeries, including PDA ligation, surgery to correct ROP, hernia repairs, and g-tube placement. When Joseph came home, he was on 24 hour oxygen therapy via nasal cannula along with countless medications to treat conditions ranging from BPD to hypothyroidism. He was also completely g-tube dependent.

Since his discharge from Nationwide Children's Hospital in 2013, Joseph has worked with physical, occupational, and speech therapists. With their help and encouragement, Joseph learned to crawl, walk, eat and drink by mouth, and speak among many other things. These therapists helped him to meet and achieve many milestones. Joseph has also been followed by Nationwide Children's BPD, Pulmonology, Ophthalmology, Endocrinology, Otolaryngology, and Gastroenterology outpatient clinics.

Our family will be forever grateful for Nationwide Children's Hospital. To us, Nationwide Children's means hope, support, and family. When Joseph was born, the knowledge and expertise of everyone involved at Nationwide Children's Hospital gave us hope that despite the challenges ahead, Joseph had a chance. We held on so tightly to that hope and are eternally thankful for it. When Joseph came home, that hope was renewed with every milestone his therapist help him achieve and with every medication his doctors were able to remove from his daily list.

Throughout Joseph's lengthy hospital stay, we received tremendous support from everyone at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Not only for Joseph through his many treatments, but for our family as well. We spent countless hours at his bedside and can't begin to express how much we appreciated the kindness and encouragement from everyone who entered that room. After his discharge from Nationwide Children's Hospital NICU, we relied heavily on the support from Joseph's therapists, clinicians, and doctors. They were our safety net; and we could not have made the transition without them.

While Joseph was in the NICU, we got to know so many special people including nurses and doctors, therapists and environmental service staff members and even other NICU families. These people have become our family. People who healed our precious little Joseph and who sat by his bedside when we were unable to be there. People who stood next to us when we were going through such hard times.

In the spring of 2015, Joseph had his g-tube site surgically closed. Currently, he no longer requires oxygen therapy and manages his asthma through the use of daily inhalers. He wears bifocals to correct his extreme nearsightedness. He attends a typical preschool and loves meeting new friends. Joseph has a kind heart and adventurous spirit. He loves playing soccer, having water balloon fights, and gymnastics.

Thanks for being our hope, our support, and our family.

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