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.