Welcome to Joseph's CaringBridge site.We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
Thomas Joseph Stanton II was born and raised in Kingwood, Texas. He is 18 years old and attended Foster Elementary, Riverwood Middle School and Kingwood Park High School. He has played almost every club sport in Kingwood but focused his high school career on football and swimming. He played football at KPHS for 2 years and was looking forward to playing on varsity his junior year before his accident. He began swimming year-round when he was only 4 years old and competed for Blue Tide Aquatics for 11 years and the past year for Eagle Swimming Association. He helped lead KPHS to their 2nd consecutive state swimming championships in 2010, was the 2010 4A 100 Freestyle State Champion, state record-holder and anchor in 2 relays and is an All-American in numerous events. Joseph also has 3 sisters, Madeleine (25), Audrea (22), and Gabrielle (15).
On June 3rd, 2010 the first day of summer break, Joseph suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) after falling off his skateboard just a few short blocks from his home in Kingwood. He simply fell from his 6’1” stature to the ground and sustained a massive head injury because he was not wearing a helmet. He was taken by ambulance to Memorial Herman Hospital where the doctors said there was simply nothing they could do for him as his entire brain was swollen. At 4 AM on June 4th his priest came to the hospital, prayed over and anointed him and within the hour a new doctor appeared at his bedside saying he was going to operate. It just so happened that the doctor’s name was Dr. Shepard and the family believes that the LORD brought His Good Shepherd to save Joseph’s life. The next 2 people to appear at Joseph’s bedside to care for him in his room were Moses and Emanuel (his first AND last name were Emanuel which means ‘God is with you”!). Without a doubt the LORD made sure we knew HE blessed us with a miracle.
Dr. Shepard removed a very large portion of Joseph’s skull and placed him on a ventilator but Joseph was very unstable for about 3 weeks spiking very high intracranial pressures causing more brain damage. One intracranial pressure reached 85 causing a huge brain bleed and Joseph almost lost his battle. He endured horrific “brain storms” technically called autonomic dysreflexia which is somewhat similar to seizures but much, much more severe. Eventually, the pressures in Joseph’s brain began to stabilize and he started to wean from the ventilator. After 6 weeks in the Neuro-Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Herman Memorial Hospital, Joseph was transferred to a long term acute care facility that specializes in neuro-rehab in The Woodlands, Nexus Specialty Hospital, where he stayed for just over four months. Joseph was then transported to The Institute of Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) in the Houston Medical Center area on December 13. TIRR is known to be a place where God likes to show off…..to show man Who is sovereign……a place where the Great Physician is known to show His handiwork. Joseph participated in the Minimally Responsive Program which only guarantees a 14 day stay unless progression is shown. Joseph remained at TIRR for eight weeks and was only released home to recuperate from baclofen pump surgery. Joseph had tendon lengthening surgery in March to allow for him to begin rehab to learn to stand again and surgery to remove scar tissue from his trach site. He returned to TIRR for another 10 weeks of rehabilitation and has been receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy at home since June. The doctors have advised the family that it will be a long time before they’re able to accurately assess the potential outcome and even longer for Joseph to realize full rehabilitation but he is working hard at regaining his life. The Stanton family gives many, many thanks for all your prayers and for passing along Joseph’s story to other prayer warriors.
Joseph's Prayer Warriors ROCK!!!
Dec 9, 2013 11:15pmYou've done it AGAIN!!!
I was really concerned this morning after Rob called Joseph's Case Manager at United Health Care. He told her we were not happy with the denial of Joseph's speech therapy. All she would say is that it all depended on the peer-to-peer review that Joseph's Speech Therapist would be doing with their "independent" speech therapist. It didn't sound promising. I found out they were going to call between 3:30 & 4 PM. At about 3:10 I couldn't stand worrying any more and just just put my head down on my desk and asked our Blessed Mother Mary to intercede as only a mother could pleading for her son. I asked the LORD to have mercy upon Joseph and give Shannon the ability to "melt the heart" of the speech therapist on the other end of the phone, to give Shannon wisdom to know what evidence to use to plead Joseph's case and to make her words convict the heart of the UHC representative. Approximately 45 minutes later I received a call from Shannon saying that UHC's speech therapist was very nice, asked her to give her a summary of Joseph's case, asked her a few questions then allowed her to plead the case. Poor Shannon felt the weight of the world on her shoulders but said within 10-15 minutes the discussion was over and the reviewer said she would be recommending to UHC that Joseph's speech therapy be re-certified for 3 more months! The confirmation that God heard my specific prayers was when Shannon told me the woman THANKED her for being an advocate for her patients! I asked the LORD to give Shannon the ability to "melt the heart of the reviewer" and that's exactly what He did. Rob and I have been through 2 peer-to-peer reviews in the 1st year of Joseph's injury when UHC kept trying to kick him out of the hospital and into a nursing home and neither of them have gone ANYTHING like this one did. The only recommendation they made was to document the "intentional communication" that we're seeing. When I called Shannon early this morning I told her to make sure she told the UHC speech therapist that for the last 6+ weeks Joseph has consistently vocalized when he wants to be suctioned or has other specific needs. This is tremendous progress and has been incredibly consistent. Dayna and Susanna document about every night that he's vocalizing letting them know his needs but their nursing notes aren't sent to UHC they go to our home health agency. So I've decided to make my own chart to be given to Shannon on a weekly basis documenting in a very easy to review chart all of the intentional communication" that Joseph has accomplished with the signature of the caregiver or nurse who tended to his need. She can then submit it to UHC on a weekly basis. With your outpouring of prayers you have helped bring much needed help to Joseph through the continuation of his speech therapy. After all communication is the most important part of his rehabilitation. Thank you so much for your selfless giving of your time and commitment to lift this specific prayer to our Father in heaven.
Joseph had a pretty good weekend. It's strange because since you have joined us with your fervent prayers in the last week we aren't seeing the high heart rates that we had been almost every night. We are still having to medicate Joseph to get him to quit posturing and get some sleep but at least we aren't seeing the tachycardia that is so worrisome. I have been researching PAID syndrome that he suffers from and have tried to pull out info for Rob to review and even sent it to Joseph's endocrinologist to see if he sees anything from an endocrinology standpoint that might be causing Joseph's instability. Rob did speak to Joseph's neurologist about a couple of things and she made a visit to our home on Saturday afternoon. They have decided to try a dopamine patch to see if that will help even out the chemicals in his brain so he's not having the alert/posturing episodes at night. They are time released with the patch application. We haven't seen a reduction in the posturing at night but he sure has been without much tone during the day. Now whether or not that 's due to the dopamine or just coincidence we'll just have to wait and see. The bad news is that he suffered a seizure both Friday and Saturday nights. Having 2 so early in the month is not good so please help us pray that he won't have any more!
Hernan was off today as he had a full day of clinicals where he had to ride along in the ambulance for his EMT certification. It's the first time in more than 2 years I've had to fly alone without him. Rob was here for the morning but it was just me, Nicole and our new nurse, Megan, the rest of the afternoon. It was the 3 Musketeers trying to lug my big boy around. Our old OT, Joe, has been filling in for Kristin as she's out on medical leave right now. He came to our rescue this afternoon during our regularly scheduled OT time so we could stand Joseph. Hernan is the only one who can do that on our team but Joe used to do it when he was coming regularly and today we found out HE'S STILL GOT IT! We were blessed with 2 fun therapy angels and between the 6 of us we managed to get Joseph standing. Actually it was mostly Joseph who did all the work. He was a dream to stand today. In fact Megan didn't even hold his head because he held his own head up and allowed her to get a jump start on her nursing notes for the agency. They have to justify almost every minute they're here. It's very difficult for the daytime nurse to get all of the notes completed because they're helping with therapies, feeding Joseph, doing medication administration, suctioning, transferring, cathing and a zillion other things. It doesn't leave much time to write down all of their work. We are so blessed to have found another great nurse to take Lucas' position. Megan is a sweetheart!
I need to close for now but want to ask for your continued prayers for my Uncle EJ. He's had a set back unable to receive chemotherapy this week because one of his blood cell counts is way low and they think he might have an infection. Thank you for lifting him in prayer. Please offer thanks and much praise to our Father in heaven and His blessed Mother who interceded for us too in convincing UHC to continue to allow my prince to receive speech therapy. Many thanks to UHC for doing the right thing for their insured patients too. As Uncle Milt texted Rob and I this morning: "The Angel Gabriel to Mary: "For nothing will be impossible with God" from Luke 1:37 and Mary said...."For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name." form Luke 1:49. We are blessed indeed.
May we continue to praise His holy name, the name above all names,
Guestbook signed 2 times today
We cherish your messages. Take a moment to write a note in our guestbook or read entries from other visitors.
Thomas Joseph's CaringBridge site is made possible through donations. You can make a donation to CaringBridge.