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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

Oops Lindsey's Photo Got Moved

Wow....I just discovered a bunch more voice activation errors in my post from last night. Joseph is definitely not my "prints" but certainly my "price" LOL!  Evidentially when I tried to post 2 pics to the update last night the site bumped the first one to the photo album and kept the second one in the post too. So unfortunately Lindsey's pic from the Brain Injury Walk in Dallas got put in the photo album but please take a look at it. It will give you a little peak at her fun personality. She is absolutely adorable and delights in preparing incredible brain stimulating activities with Joseph every single day.  One of my closets has been overtaken with boxes and bags of FUN projects! Yesterday then went excavating and today they attempted to make really cute glow in the dark lanterns until Hernan cut his finger really bad assisting!  He had me "digging" for glass at the end of his finger THEN he decided there must not be any in it....ugh!!!

I am thrilled to also announce that our other new Team Joseph member, Katy, is at the HBO training course in San Antonio this week!  Katy is a semester short of graduating from nursing school but needed to take a break so we are beyond thrilled that she brought her talents to the SHOR and was eligible to take the HBO course !  She knew Joseph as a little tike at Sand Creek Sea Lions Swim Team because her little brother was on relays with Joseph and she seated Joseph and his girlfriend when they came into a restaurant she worked at a while before his accident.  Katy is learning all kinds of cool stuff at the training course this week. Some of the medical teams in attendance are utilizing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for an adjunct therapy in rehabbing ACL and MCL injuries. They reported on an NFL player who reduced his rehab time by 50% by doing HBO. Gabrielle talked to her PT about it and she said, "YES, you need to jump on that as fast as you can!" when she found out we have an HBO Center. The problem is the protocols are set up to  dive every day for a specific number of dives at a specific atmosphere for a specific number of minutes (usually 60-90) and she already misses 3 afternoons of school/week for PT not getting home until late and then is up VERY late doing homework. Katy also does brain stimulating activities with Joseph and is a big Auburn football fan as she also attended school there right out of high school before she moved back to Texas to attend UT's Nursing School. Nicole still weighs in on the football scene too as she's a die-hard UT Longhorn fan as that's her alma mater. She brought him a Longhorn T-shirt when she came back to Houston this week. He hadn't spoken all day and vocalized immediately when he saw her AND when she gave him her present!

Joseph had another tough day with vocalizations and HR's up to 118 moaning in pain. We fear he has more fractures and we hope to find out tomorrow as we are headed to the medical center for several x-rays to be taken. They had only ordered view of his spine and sacrum but we fear there are more in his ribs so I contacted the doctors today and they've ordered a chest x-ray too where they'll be looking for additional rib fractures.  Please pray that there won't be an significant findings and that the blasted lab work would hurry up and come back so we can determine whether or not Joseph can start the Forteo therapy.  They took 4 viles of blood 2 weeks ago today and the phlebotomist said that all but 1 test had to be sent out of state for processing so I knew it would take some time but NOT THIS LONG!

The most important prayes of all are for Therese.  Her temperature has been elevated to the point where they packed her in ice all night long, her heart rate has been 110's to 140's and she hasn't eaten since Sunday. The cultures aren't back yet so the doctors are just guessing at the antibiotic therapy until they get the cultures and sensitivity report.  She's in a lot of pain so the trick is finding a balance between pain control and keeping her awake enough to breathe deeply so her lungs don't get worse. Therese is a precious, precious, precious young woman with a HUGE heart, a born philanthropist holding lemonade stands to benefit the local fire department and soliciting donations to a ton of other needy causes even as a LITTLE girl. As I enjoyed a beautiful 65-70 degree morning in Houston, Texas I told the LORD I didn't have any sufferings to offer up for Therese but asked if I couldn't give her all the blessings that I was feeling on such a beautiful day. I hope those are being multiplied and that all of our prayers for her will pour out abundant blessings tomorrow. Please keep her mom, Liz, and the rest of her family in your prayers that our Father would lighten their load, multiply their rest and give them all His peace.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27),

33 people hearted this



Gail Doyle
By Gail Doyle
Praying for all and always for Josephs healing and no more pain.
Lifting Therese up to God to watch over her
Robin Wagar
By Robin and Bob Wagar, Naples, Fl.
So happy to hear about the stimulation Joseph is receiving and also that your staff member is getting trained for the HBO. Hopefully Gabrielle will be able to benefit this for her treatment as well. She is one busy gal. So sad that Therese is suffering. We pray that the culture results will come back today with an answer for which antibiotic will work for her infection. When she is improved, is she a candidate for a lung transplant? We have a friend whose son-in-law is 50 now and he had a double lung transplant about 10 years ago due to CF and has done beautifully ever since.
Praying for all of you!
Jim Power
By J. Power Family
Thank you for your post this beautiful Texas day. We are praying for your prince and have raised prayers for Therese as well. Thank you for living a life of peace in full view of this dying world so that others may learn of the power of God.
Nancy Freese
By Nancy Freese, Illinois
Praying for Joseph and Therese.
Sandi Brock
By Sandi
Father God, I pray that Therese can find her healthy body. Please give her back health and no more temperature. I pray that Joseph's x-rays will come back with results so something can be done for his pain. Please keep him safe. AMEN!
Barbara, Brad and Brittany Bussey
By Barbara
I will pray for Therese. So sorry for her suffering.