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.