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Thomas Joseph’s Story

Welcome to Joseph's Caring Bridge 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 20 years old and attended Foster Elementary, Riverwood Middle School and Kingwood Park High School.  He 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 last year before his accident for Eagle Swimming Association.  He helped lead KPHS to two consecutive state swimming championships. In 2010 he was the 2010 4A  100-yard Freestyle State Champion, state record-holder and anchor in 2 relays and earned All-American honors in numerous events.  Joseph also has 3 sisters, Madeleine (27), Audrea (23), and Gabrielle (18).

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 him, 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 all knew HE was the One who brought the miracle!

Dr. Shepard removed a very large portion of Joseph’s skull and placed him on a ventilator but Joseph was in a coma and 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 subsequent horrific “brain storms” which is somewhat similar to seizures but much, much more severe causing very high heart rates, blood pressures and temperatures.  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.  Just before Christmas Joseph was then transported to The Institute of Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) in the Houston Medical Center. 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 progress is shown but Joseph being the incredibly competitive kid he is managed to qualify for almost 6 total months. He received expert physical, occupational and speech therapy tailored to a brain injured patient. They also taught his family how to care for him by themselves and he made the transition back home after being in 4 different hospitals for a solid year in June of 2011.  He has worked extremely hard for the past 3 years at home with the help of great physical, occupational and speech therapists in addition to his team of nurses, caregivers, and some amazing volunteer "therapy angels" trying to regain some independence. If you've followed Joseph's story from the beginning you've been privileged to witness many, many miracles of God. The Stanton family has great hope that one day the LORD will fully and completely restore Joseph and make him a mighty warrior for Christ for the rest of his life.  They give you many, many thanks for all your love, prayers and support over the past 4+ years.

Latest Journal Update

God Heard Our Prayers

Thank you, thank you, thank for all your prayers, signing the petition, leaving comments on our Face Book page "Deny Parole to John S. Martin" page, the personal e-mails, text messages, Face Book messages etc.... They were all included in our plea to the Parole Board and in record time we received the news yesterday that our souls could rest for 5 years, the maximum time allowed before he would be eligible for parole again. We have never waited less than 4 weeks to receive the news of the Parole Board's ruling but it took them less than a week to make the determination this year. My entire family was in tears with the news. We thought it was going to be an uphill battle after the actual hearing but God heard our prayers and brought us a HUGE blessing. Please offer prayers of praise and thanksgiving!!!


To bring you up to date on my prince he had a great day of cognitive function. It was probably the greatest length of cognitive function he's ever had. The strange part was that he was completely out of it ALL morning long. We could NOT arouse him no matter what we did. Lindsey did "Around the World" with him where we move his entire upper body around and around. Technically it's called Vestibular Input (thank you Kristen Caldwell) and it always works but NOT today! Lindsey even used ice packs but still he didn't budge an eye lid. I was beginning to worry he was having an absent seizure but that wasn't it either. We have been titrating his Baclofen pump up to try to see if it would help control the storming at all. We know setting it too high can cause the patient to be sleepy. I was beginning to think that was the problem but once speech therapy started Joe Man turned on the steam and had an excellent speech therapy session responding very quickly to questions using the big red button that he activates with his head that says "that's what I want" and several other things he is asked to do every speech therapy session. Then Joseph surprised his speech therapist with more than 3 pages of "Intentional Communication Log" entries for the past week pictured here. He set his own goal last week of wanting to vocalize 100 times over the 7-day period of time. He had set a goal of 75 for the week before and vocalized 100 times but when the speech therapist heard that he had set a goal of 100 for this past week she told Joseph that she thought 85 would be a better goal. Welllllll for those of you who know Joseph personally you know that THAT is all he needs to blow the goal out of the water. In fact one of his sweet therapy angels, Patty Kalass, bought him a T-shirt one year for his birthday that said "Don't Think I Can? Stand Back and Watch Me!"  It is completely Joseph Stanton's personality to have anyone try to tell him he can't do something and he can hardly wait to prove him wrong. We haven't seen that fire come out in him in a while so it was a VERY welcomed sight.



Matt started a really cool activity with Joseph several weeks ago whee at the beginning of every week he talks to Joseph and helps him choose a memory verse for the week, a "Word of the Week" to learn a word that quite frankly NONE of us know, and set several goals for the week with working out at YMCA, minutes standing in the tilt table, number of vocalizations for the week etc...... So today using the big red button again he told Matt that he wanted to set 200 vocalizations as his goal for the upcoming week. Even I thought that was a lofty goal but I didn't dare say anything to allow him to think I didn't have confidence in him. Well between 1 PM and 6 PM Joseph had already vocalized 40 times and let me tell you....he was VERY insistent upon exactly WHAT he was trying to communicate. If he didn't get what he wanted he would yell at us again. It was hilarious. We tried to stand him and were successful initially but after about 20 minutes he started vocalizing, then his heart rate went soaring and he vocalized along with the very loud vocalizations. I asked him if he wanted to come down and he answered immediately with vocalizations and confirmed with eye blinks. I told him "ok, ok..you can come down." When we got him down his heart rate reduced by more than 50%. We got him transferred to his wheelchair and he wasn't there long before he started fussing at us again. I said, "what now, do you want to go outside?" and he vocalized. Well we got busy getting his medications ready and a couple of other things before we could get him outside and he started vocalizing again with a very annoyed tone. I said, "I'm sorry, are you tired of waiting on us to get you outside?" and he vocalized again. We all started laughing at that point. Lindsey and Sarah finally were able to get him outside where he was for about 10 minutes in the 93% humidity in hot and steamy Houston, Texas today and he started vocalizing again. The girls asked him if he wanted to come in and he once again vocalized. They got him inside and I asked him if he got too hot outside and just wanted to come in and he vocalized again. It was incredible. Almost every single thing we asked him he responded with a vocalization and sometimes confirmation with eye blinks too. It was hilarious that he was so demanding but we loved every minute of it.  Sarah even told him he was getting "sassy". It made for a lot of fun the way he kept us hopping all day long!


Thank you for your prayers. I know each and every word is heard loud and clear. Thanks especially for the prayers over the Parole Board Hearing. The quickness in response was miraculous! Please remember to continue to pray for sweet Therese, who is trying to stay infection free for another month so she can be trialed on the new drug with hopes of it curing her cystic fibrosis. Please also pray that the LORD would send us the next perfect team members to help care for my prince.


Blessings to you always,

Terri
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Comments

14 Comments

Patty Kalass
By Patty Kalass
I'm smiling from ear to ear!!! Wonderful news all around!!❤️🙏!!!
Joy Roberts
By Joy Roberts
Thank you God!!
Barbara Whipple
By Praise God
Glad to hear Joseph is doing so well
GodBless
KIMBERLY Franks
By Kim
So wonderful to hear of Joseph's Great progress. I think of and pray for your family often.
I don't know you Terri but I can tell Joseph gets his fighting spirit from his fiercely loving Momma!
May Our Lord continue to bless and heal him.
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1 person hearted this
G.C. Dupont
By Jaime and Consuelo
More prayers on your way,
Love you all,
Gail Doyle
By Gail Doyle
So glad the parole board got back so quick with the good news Sounds like Joseph is doing well and hope in no pain Prayers and positive thoughts to all God be with you and bless all Keep vocalizing Joseph and prayers for Theresa
Robin Wagar
By Robin and Bob Wagar, Naples, Fl.
We were so happy to hear that Joseph has been vocalizing a lot. It is especially nice when you know that it is to specific things he wants. That is awesome.
Wonderful news about the Parole decision of the murderer of your Father Terri. Hopefully, they will keep him I. Prison for life as he was sentenced.
Prayin that Therese will stay healthy enough for her to get the new trial drug for her cystic fibrosis.
Take care and God Bless.
Sandi Brock
By Sandi
Father God,
I am so impressed and it all has to do with You and answered prayer. I pray for Joseph's goal of 200 vocalizations and more. It just goes to show us all that You are present in each life and that You are standing with him in his recovery. Thank you, dear Lord. AMEN!
Maria Whitehead
By Maria Whitehead
Just LOVED hearing all the great news, the parole board decision, and Joseph's fighting spirit! Praise be to our Lord for his mercy and grace.
Diane Mullhausen
By Diane Mullhausen
Sending prayers to all!