Joshua is 18 years of age at this writting and a special child. He was born with "absence of the Corpus Callosum," (the center portion of the brain) and cannot hear or speak. He does not know sign language, so we learn Joshy language. His school and family continue to work toward getting him to understand signing and the more attention he pays to this strange phenomena, the closer he is getting. It would be so wonderful to find out what Joshua actually knows. Please read "Joshua, God's Design" and "The ABC's of
Joshua's World," to learn much about Joshua. He is a
joy, and he is as special as they come!
This first picture is Joshua's school
picture for his eighth grade. He does not leave these glasses
The second picture shows Joshua in his
helmet. At age 13 through 16, Joshua hit himself so hard in the
head and face due to pain in his head, he had to wear this helmet
most of the time. Many doctors could not find the cause. We knew
he suffered pain, although told it was behavioral by some doctors.
His parents continued the search. He had several sinus surgeries
to no avail. Finally, a neurosurgeon discovered he had a build
up of spinal fluids in his head. He placed a shunt in Joshua's
brain to drain this fluid into his stomach lining. In December
1997, he developed a staff infection in the shunt and throughout
his body. We spent the month of January 1998 in pediatric ICU.
Josh underwent three more surgeries at that time. Again, in 2000
his shunt malfunctioned and infected his body and he became very
ill. When that infection was cleared in his body, the shunt was
again replaced. In September of 2001 he again experienced a lot
of pain. Grand-mall seizures (the most severe I have ever seen)
forced a decision to insert another shunt to the other side of
Joshua's brain. He came home from the hospital on his mother's
birthday and is once again our happy, lovable, and playful Josh.
We will be watching him closely over the next 3 to 6 months,
praying this shunt will not become infected. Please come back
from time to time to check on his progress.
The third picture was taken on his 18th birthday. He was totally captivated by the candles. Joshua turned 19 this year. (2001)
The photo below was taken at Joshua's
eighth grade graduation. He was enabled to walk across the stage
in his full body walker. This would not have been necessary except
when Joshua saw the steps to the stage, he just wanted to stop
there and play awhile. We were proud of him as he made his way,
with the help of his student aid, to accept his diploma.
Joshua is now able to walk some distance
without assistance. He no longer needs to be in a special high
chair to eat. Joshua still has to be fed, but he will sit in
a big chair at the table. He still likes to play by himself.
We really believe that God sends angels to play with him. I guess
if we had angels to play with, our siblings would fail by comparison
too...grin. He has the most wonderful laugh you could ever hope
to hear. God made Joshua just perfect!