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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 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 (27), Audrea (23), and Gabrielle (17).

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.

Latest Journal Update

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Joseph has had some good days and some bad days since last I left you. None have been as great as the day that he had 33 vocalizations though. He continues to have bizarre bouts of storming and we have to give him a lot of medication which then affects his therapies the following day. This absolutely kills me because we work so hard to make everything perfect for his therapies and then we can't control his heart rate posturing and pain and it ends up being a failure.


I finally got a call from Dr. Prasarn on Tuesday with results from the x-rays that we took last Thursday. The good news/bad news is he does not see any new fractures however I think he was very limited in the images that he ordered unbeknownst to us. I think there was a communication breakdown between my email to his assistant and what actually got ordered or at least read. So this is very frustrating. Joseph continues to moan out in pain when we roll him left or right on occasion so regardless of what the doctor says I still believe that he is experiencing pain from at least his ribs if not somewhere higher in his vertebrae.


Weve been working with Joseph's Endocrinologist for three months now trying to gain access to another weapon against Joseph's osteoporosis. He put me in touch with a company who tries to assist patients with getting it approved through their insurance. After badgering the company for 3 weeks who is trying to "help" us get Joseph that other "weapon", I finally got a call on Friday saying that they were going to go ahead and send us a starter kit prior to the insurance approving it so there wouldn't be any further delay. That weapon is fondly referred to as "HGH" or Human Growth Hormone. After studying it a little bit I discovered that the reason for the long delay is that there are a lot of abuses of this medication from an anti-aging agent (I.e. "The Fountain of Youth") to bodybuilders and athletes who want to gain an advantage over their competitors. We will be using it as an added weapon to the arsenal we want to use in our war on osteoporosis in helping to rebuild his bones. It can also improve the muscle wasting we have seen over his four years of being non-ambulatory. We have received the medication and the starter kit but they are supposed to send a nurse out to train us to give the daily injections. We also heard from Dr. Rupee that she has submitted the prescription for the Forteo but that it will probably be a battle with United Healthcare to get it approved. She doesn't believe that it will get denied ultimately but that it's just going to be a lot of paperwork before Joseph actually receives his first dose of Forteo. Dr. rupee said that she would like to stagger the start of both Forteo and HGH anyway so we will go ahead with the HGH injections then she said to wait 2 to 4 weeks before starting the Forteo. The Forteo also builds bones so I feel like we will have a much greater arsenal to go to war against the horrific osteoporosis that has ravaged my precious son's bones. Please help us pray daily for great results and no side effects from these drugs.


Sweet Katy is back from the hyperbaric oxygen training course in San Antonio. She texted me throughout the week and I could tell she was very excited about the opportunities to bring this treatment modality to not only Joseph but to others too. She and Hernan spent the morning at the Center yesterday getting it all organized and ready to roll under her command. I can tell she has studied hard and thoroughly thought through everything. We even had to consult Scott on some regulatory information that she wasn't clear on. I am thrilled for her interest, enthusiasm, and excitement to get the ball rolling.


I can't even begin to tell you all of the amazing brain stimulating activities our sweet Lindsey has been bringing Joseph.i think she spends all of her time off coming up with more FUN activities. We even had to clear off a shelf in the garage for all of the INCREDIBLY IMAGINATIVE project supplies she has brought or purchased. I think I'm going to have to take out a loan to repay her. Lol!! She is incredible at making sure it is a holistic approach to the BSA with sites, sounds, smells, and things for Joseph to touch. There has been a common theme this week with pumpkins fall things and even some Halloween fun. Yesterday they made a really cool friendly witch out of some type of Play-Doh that they attached a hat, eyes, a nose and other fun things to create their own green witch. The REALLY COOL THING THOUGH was that she melted slowly in your hand as you watched her!!! In the background Lindsay had playing the old time favorite song called the "Monster Mash." She also had a yummy spicy fall scented candle burning at the same time. Today they studied the lifecycle of a pumpkin seed from planting through picking. She completed the day with a field trip with the entire team going to a pumpkin patch held at a church down the road that just happened to be Joseph's preschool!!! They had fun displays and hay bales to see as they pushed him through the rows of pumpkins so he could be in the middle of all of the excitement to pick out a pumpkin for carving. I thought it was only apropos to share some homemade pumpkin bread that I made Sunday morning upon their return. In the beautiful picture here you will see the familiar face of Hernan along with Megan in the Team Joseph T-shirt, Lindsey and then Katy on the end. There is another picture of Lindsey and Joseph In the photo album with the pumpkin that he picked out in front of the sign to his old preschool. I can't tell you how blessed I feel to have this amazing team including, but not pictured, Dayna and Susanna on night duty. It wasn't that long ago that I felt like I was in a deep dark pit with dirt being thrown on top of me not being able to find the perfect members to complete our team. I thank God for them every day!!!


Madeleine was home this past weekend for the wedding of close family friends. We were very blessed to be able to have Megan and Katy come hold down the fort with Joseph so all of us could attend. It was awesome to get to see Madeleine again even though it was a very short weekend. Both girls will be here and our family complete for Thanksgiving so I am very much looking forward to that next visit with our girls.


Please continue to pray for Therese. While she has made some progress there is still so much more that needs to be made. She suffers tremendous pain in her left lung where she has the fluid from the pneumonia. Please pray that her lungs would open up especially the one on the left side, that her lung function would improve significantly and that she would gain weight. The doctor is threatening to put in a feeding tube if she loses anymore weight so please pray fervently for this. My other prayer request is for a dear friend and amazing prayer warrior for Joseph who leaves him a message almost daily in the guestbook. She just had a double mastectomy on Monday and I have not heard from her so I am getting concerned. I don't have any other way of communicating with her because I only know her through Joseph's journey. Please please please pray that she has not had any complications to the surgery that she is free of pain and especially free of cancer.


Good night sweet friends be blessed in all things always,

Terri

>~\\\>
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Comments

11 Comments

Gail Doyle
By Gail Doyle
Dear Terri,
Been thinking of Joseph and hope and pray things are going better
Are his bones getting stronger and pray pain has eased ..God be with you all and I'll wait for next update PRAYERS<PRAYERS<AND MORE PRAYERS
love Gail
Sandi Brock
By Sandi
Dear Father God,

Thank you for the people you have put in Joseph's life. I pray that they will be able to continue with their divine knowledge for getting Joesph stimulated. You are awesome. I pray that the new medication will be just the thing needed to help Joseph's bones to heal. I pray that he is free from pain because you have put your armor around his body. I pray that Gabrielle is healing also, and that she will be fully recovered from the knee injury. I pray the HBO will continue to be another way for Joseph to heal from this accident. I thank, Terri, for being concerned about me and my double mastectomy. I am doing good because God is so very great. I ask for these prayers to be answered in his name. AMEN!
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Joy Roberts
By Joy Roberts
Always smile and thank God when I hear about the great team you have assembled....remember, we prayed! ...and God answered! To God be the Glory!
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Vicky Scott
By Vicky
We continue to pray and are thankful for the team that has been picked by the Lord for this appointed time. Amazing how the ones did not work out so these could be with you now. Only the Lord and only HIS timing.
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Jim Power
By J. Power Family
Prayed for your beloved son early this morning as the routine of life dictates we start each day. Held Joseph and the team up to Christ and asked for both protection and communication to increase. Thank you for your report and we give praise to Christ for these wonderful young ladies and Herman assisting you. Thank you for witnessing to this dying world and standing before it as Christ's witness.
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harriet criswell
By Harriet Criswell
My prayers are with Joseph, your family, Joseph's doctors, Joseph's care givers and Joseph's prayer warriors that are having health issues themselves.
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sarah hitt
By Sarah Hitt
Think about you all the time Joseph!!! Miss seeing you!
Love,
The Hitt family
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Robin Wagar
By Robin and Bob Wagar, Naples, Fl.
Praying that the Forteo is approved soon and that both the HGH and the Forteo will help Joseph's bones so he has no more fractures. Your team sounds awesome with all that they do to help Joseph. You are truly blessed to have a dedicated team. We are also happy that Madeleine was able to come home even if it was a short visit. Thanksgiving will be something great for you to look forward to.
Take care and God bless. Praying for all of you and especially for Joseph that his pain will go away with the new meds.
Praying for Therese that her lungs will respond to the meds and that the fluid will subside in her lung. Also praying for the prayer warrior who had the double mastectomy that all went well and that she will be cancer free. It has been 7 years for me and every day is a blessing!
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Gail Doyle
By Gail Doyle
Dear Terri,
Loved the pictures and Joseph looks good ,just wish he would stop hurting and his bones rebuild .Hope HGH injections help those bones. So glad there are such caring people to help with Joseph. Many prayers being said for all God bless and be with you
love Gail
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Barbara Whipple
By Praise God
prayers are going up for all concerns we will trust Him to do what is needed and all will work out
God Bless
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