As a family we decided to go on vacation for 4th of July and since we had free tickets, we came to the conclusion of going to Seaworld and the San Diego Zoo. The kids were so excited and it was a nice little break for us as a whole family and we had high hopes that it would get Josiah out of the funk that he had been in since the beginning of June.
Starting early June Josiah began having tummy troubles and unfortunately vomiting and would refuse to eat and started to spend most days laying on either the couch or in his bed. This of course was a big thing for us since our two year old is such a happy and active child so to have our son struggle in obvious pain was huge. He would tell us he was cold while holding his head and his stomach but he never had a fever. We took him to multiple urgent cares and we were told simply to keep an eye on him and that it was probably viral. Then the last urgent care doctor told us she felt his behavior warranted an ER visit. Our frustrations grew as did our questions. What was happening inside Josiah's sweet little body that we couldn't see? Why were his labs coming back normal? Why didn't anything show on the urinalysis? When would get any answers at all?
At the ER we waited, and waited, and waited. After 9 hours, an ultrasound, another urinalysis, and more waiting, we were told that they thought he was likely only constipated and were sent on our way. I knew this couldn't possibly be the only thing because he was in so much more discomfort than that. We followed up with his doctor and both Dr Murthy and the nurse Ruby whole heartedly listened to my cries as I begged them to do more testing than what the ER or urgent cares had done. We then had another ultrasound, an X-ray, a full CBC blood panel, and another urinalysis. Everything came back clean. The next step was a GI Specialist referral.
As we waited for the referral Josiah got worse. Those darn insurance rules right?
This is where the 4th of July came upon us. We went down on the 4th and spent Thursday at Seaworld and Friday at the San Diego Zoo and the kids had a blast. Friday night we stayed at the hotel again and went to sleep with the plan of heading home early Saturday morning. God had a different plan.
Saturday morning around 3-4am Josiah woke up screaming and crying in pain. He threw up and struggled, disoriented he begged us to put him down and he tried to get back to bed. That was when his eyes began to roll and Daniel made the call that we were going to the ER. All of a sudden Josiah stopped and fell asleep. Daniel then asked that we let him sleep and take him in if he woke again. As our son tossed and turned, his eyes rolled back again and he struggled even in his sleep so I informed Daniel I would be calling the ambulance either way. Josiah again woke up crying and screaming and struggled even as I was on the phone trying to tell the dispatcher where we were.
When they picked up Josiah my husband stayed with Bella to allow her to sleep and I went in the ambulance. On the ride I listened as they reviewed his stats and tried to figure out the severity of the situation. In passing I heard them mention their concern for his heart and his head as his heart rate had dipped below 55.
Almost immediately when we arrived at the hospital they planned to get him to CT to see what was going on and if something in his head was causing the stress on his heart. I just sat back and watched and prayed and listened so I could try to figure out what was being discussed about my boy.
It wasn't until the man we now know as Dr. Rob came up to me to introduce himself as the Neurosurgeon that I truly knew what was happening. He simply asked me if someone had gone over the results with me of the CT scan yet. A nurse pulled him aside and informed him my husband was not there yet. As he came back up to me he asked when Daniel would be arriving. I explained about how he was giving Bella time to sleep before he would be showing up. I told him I knew what he was about to tell me. I had a feeling. I quietly asked him if he would be taking Josiah back to surgery or if there was something else that would be happening first.
"The mass." That was when he said it. I had an idea since he was a neurosurgeon after all, but to hear him say they wanted to send Josiah for an MRI to get a better look at the "the mass" was when everything else faded out. I stopped listening, or at least retaining information, at that point.
I remember looking at my boy and holding his cheeks so he wouldn't move during the CT, I thought to myself how precious his little life was and is, and how much I loved him and wished I could protect him from his own body and I couldn't believe that the one time I truly needed to fight and protect my child, I couldn't. There was nothing I could physically do but get down on my knees and pray. Trust that God would come through where He promised Josiah's life.
When Daniel and Bella arrived at the hospital, the team was ready to take Josiah up to the PICU right away. We trailed behind them as they wheeled his bed down the halls towards a set of elevators. As we stepped onto the elevator was when I looked at my husband and repeated the words "they found a mass". Everything in me broke as I watched the look in my husbands eyes glaze over in pain and he asked me "in his head?". All I could do was nod my head and fight the tears.
Journal Entry from July 10th: I’m adding this entry onto his story as it is such a huge part of our son’s story that it must be shared.
“ I want to say how AWEsome our God is! He has provided peace beyond all understanding and comfort in the roughest of storms. And although we are only human and struggle greatly with the situation set before us, we have been given a strength from the One who holds the world in His hands and knew our son long before we did.
Prior to even our marriage God revealed to me in a dream a vision of a young boy playing with big and loving eyes and the Lord called him Josiah.
I knew I was looking at the child who would one day be my son.
The Hebrew meaning of his name is defined as “Jehovah has healed”.
This in itself shows the grace of our Lord above all else because He promised us our son, He promised us that He will heal Josiah of whatever happens next. Whatever his earthly body battles is already defeated by our Lord and nobody can take that from us.
The Lord then later revealed a second dream where I was made aware that our son would unfortunately come to sickness as a child. I struggled. I fought God on this and didn’t want children because of this but of course as all else goes, God laughed at me. He knew His plan for us was wonderful and was for good and not of evil. So as most of you know we now have our Isabella “gift from God” and our sweet Josiah. He knew what we needed better than we ever could.
I share these dreams publicly now because these are just small pieces of the puzzle that will mold into my son’s life testimony. But to also share of how amazing and overwhelmingly gracious our Lord is for He is sufficient! He did not have to share these things with me, He did not have to prepare us or give us the gift of being mindful of each and every day with our children. He didn’t have to do any of it. But He did. That is reason enough for us to praise His name and believe with our whole hearts that He has this situation in His hands.
Please continue to hold our son in your prayers, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew18:20 NKJV”
**A work in progress** last edited 10/17/19
Although we do not expect any financial support in regard to Josiah's medical care, we have received many sweet messages about assisting with his medical bills and decided to make that available should anyone choose to assist.
Please know that the greatest thing we can ask of everyone is to pray pray pray!
Thank you, Daniel and Patrisha Phippshttps://www.gofundme.com/f/1owzdupetc&rcid=r01-15627864232-08fc4be5a89743b7&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w