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Joshua’s Story

Welcome to Josh's CaringBridge website! Be sure to visit the journal section often to read daily updates and most definitely sign the guest book so that we know who to thank! If you are considering a visit to come see Josh, please send us a text, email, or phone call on either of our phones to find out when the best time to visit may be.




If you are interested in sending a card or letter, please send any mail to:
911 N 5th Ave. E
Duluth, MN 55805

Send any emails to:
horkatron@gmail.com (Whitney's) or
orchidsinduluth@gmail.com (Josh's)



Josh was doing his usual thing on Saturday January 28, 2012: going after witches brooms in trees. This time, he was climbing up a tree to reach a particular broom. The branch broke and he fell backwards about 20 feet to the ground. He crushed a vertebrae in his back, damaging his spinal cord, and breaking 3 ribs. He currently has no sensation below mid-chest level. Josh underwent back surgery the night of January 28th to stabilize his spine and insert screws and plates to fuse his spine and allow for swelling to slowly go down. Josh was located at St. Mary's Duluth Clinic in the neuro-trauma wing for after-surgery care, then he moved into his more permanent location in room 205 of the Miller-Dwan rehab center. on March 9, 2012, he was released into the world! Because their house was incomplete and under construction, the Horkys moved into the holiday inn for a time until their new wheelchair accessible location outside of town was ready. They lived there courtesy of friends Al and Theresa for a little over a year while their house was being renovated to be wheelchair accessible. Finally, the modifications were complete and the Horkys moved back into their home in March of 2013.

Latest Journal Update

Lung adventures.

Josh has been battling problems with his lung- after being home for only a day and a half from rehab, he was having some chest pains and troubles breathing in. So a trip to the ER and 6 hours later, it's discovered he had a pleural effusion! Originally it was thought he might have pneumonia or even potentially a blood clot in the lung, but only an effusion. This is where fluid builds up in the space between the lungs and the chest wall.
He was admitted to the hospital on a Monday and stayed 9 days with a chest tube draining fluid. A total of about 3 liters of fluid came out by the time he was released! Crazy. Lots of deep breathing exercises to keep that pleural space from filling up again.
This sort of thing happens usually when there is a bit of inflammation, probably from surgery. He did have his left lung collapsed during the surgery in February, so it probably stems from that. We are at the doctors today to see how is chest is doing and to see if anything further needs doing with it. Wish us luck!

Josh's back is doing well, healing up nicely and not too much terrible pain. There are good days and bad days of course, but at least he doesn't have to wear a brace!