Joey is an adorable 5-year-old boy with a full head of dark hair, big brown eyes and a heartwarming smile. At 20 months of age Joey was just like any other toddler: learning to walk, talk, to play with toys and his older brother William.
Joey liked books, bubbles, balloons, and splashing in the bathtub. He laughed when he was happy, cried when he was sad and made a mess when he ate.
In October, 2015, Joey was admitted to a major medical center with a diagnosis of diarrhea and dehydration. When Joey became weaker after several days of treatment, the doctors were perplexed. At first we thought that Joey may have become so weak that he aspirated and then went into cardiac arrest. Later we learned that, tragically, the dehydration became so severe that Joey could no longer compensate and went into full cardiac arrest. Joey received CPR for 41 minutes and was placed on a heart and lung bypass machine. The prognosis was dire and for the next five days the family stayed by his side, holding his hand and praying for a miracle.
By the grace of God and the expert physicians, nurses and technicians in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Joey survived. Tragically, Joey suffered severe brain injury due to a lack of oxygen. His injury, called Hypoxic Anoxic Injury or HAI, has impaired his motor skills. Joey cannot yet eat, sit up, crawl or talk. However, he is fully alert; all of his cognitive ability is intact.
In spite of his injuries, Joey is a happy child. He is bright, fully engaged in activities of learning, has lots of energy and laughs easily. Where others might see a disabled child, we see a future mathematician, a computer expert, a teacher, a lawyer or a physician. We see Joey as a child of God, a miracle and a very special person.
This is not the end of the story. It is only the beginning. There are many children like Joey. Most are born with a range of clinical symptoms under the general category of cerebral palsy (CP). Although Joey was not born with this condition, his symptoms are similar. Over 10,000 children are diagnosed each year with some form of CP. While symptoms and severity vary from individual to individual, many children diagnosed with this condition can, with proper therapy, support and love, lead a rich, full life.
You can help write the rest of this story. It can have a great ending. With your financial support, Joey and other children will one day be able to walk, talk, learn and live a meaningful and happy life. While there is not a cure for this condition, there can be improvement that makes all the difference in a person’s life. You can help make that difference with your donation.
The purpose of Joey’s Foundation is to provide financial support to individuals, organizations or other entities engaged in research, education and innovation related to rehabilitation, recovery and activities of daily living for pediatric patients suffering from the effects of motor impairment regardless of how the injury occurred.
Joey’s Foundation is an approved 501(c)(3) charity, and all donations are fully tax-exempt. Thank you and God bless you for whatever contribution you can make.