A Little background story. Josh was born with a huge hole in his back with his spinal cord exposed to the outside of his body.
His first Experience in this world was having Surgery. And that hasn’t stopped to this day. As mentioned, he’s had 32 surgeries, ranging from straightening out his severely bowed legs/ 3 times. Spinal cord surgery /5 times. (recently /right before he was to get married… he had a routine spinal surgery where unfortunately he contacted a staph infection which came 1 day from Killing him. This left him in the hospital for 29 days on Antibiotics, I V’s and spinal tap. Doctor’s told him he was lucky to be alive and that he may not WALK out of their due to the Spinal Meningitis he now had. Josh’s Positive Response” I’m not only gonna walk out of here, but I’m gonna Dance, because I have a wedding to Dance at in a couple of months” and he DID Dance at his wedding – nothing keeps him down) having his bladder replaced with a fake bladder / 4 times. (Prior to him being able to have a fake bladder he had to wear diapers & a rubber urinary collection device on his leg all throughout school/high school. Often taunted being called “piss pocket”, “bag fag” & more. Which lead to years of depression etc. But eventually as he grew up he got more secure and embraced his condition and became the awesome / positive person he is Today ) There have been countless more surgeries. Too many to list.
Since they’ve been married the medical troubles started on day one…. Josh ended up in the E.R. on their honeymoon in Hawaii 3 times. Making their honeymoon a bit more burdensome then one would hope for. Turns out his fake bladder was eroding and needed immediate removal. When they got home from honeymoon he had to have immediate surgery to remove it, then several months later had to have yet another fake bladder implanted leaving him bed ridden with tubes in his stomach for about 6 months. Meanwhile his wife who had a great paying job got laid off. She remained laid off and looking for work for almost 2 yrs… This forced josh to sell all his prized possessions at the time, his motorcycle, vintage furniture, his car (they downsized to be one car family) collectables, childhood toys/sports cards etc. pretty much anything of value to pay rent/ have food in fridge.
Fast forward to Today, things are looking up. Shawna is now a manager at a local clothing store Buffalo Exchange. Making $15 /hr working Full Time. Josh still tries to sell vintage clothes when he can, but nearly impossible when they can’t afford to keep internet/phones on. We really hope that this fundraiser and THIS Page in particular will be a Success in helping them relieve the stress/burden and worry that comes along with owing so much in medical bills that they clearly can’t pay for. This Family truly needs a break. I could write so much more about what he & they have endured together, how awesome he is as a positive person, and how they are together. But that would take days to write. Hopefully these few paragraphs give a glimpse of what they’re dealing with/ who they are/ and why they are deserving of anyone’s help that can help this couple out.
As Josh would say. “Cheers, P.M.A. All the Way”!!!
Despite all they’ve been through in their yrs. together. The Bridgewater couple are some of the nicest, upbeat people who truly radiate LOVE as it should be. You see this immediately when you meet them. Josh is one of the most Positive people I’ve had the privilege to meet. He rarely lets on about how much pain he’s in, how sick he gets, or his personal/financial struggles. He has a serious Lust for Life, you can even see it in all of his hospital photos. Always throwing a smile and Hang Loose. When he goes in for surgeries and his wife is crying due to her fear that everything will turn out ok. Josh is cracking jokes, praying over her to remain calm and to stay Positive. He often quotes that what gets him through day to day life is “P.M.A. and Stoke for life” (Positive Mental Attitude) to truly KNOW josh is to love him. His positive demeanour is contagious. For someone who has been through so much in his life, you’d never know it due to how he carries himself. He sees the beautiful in the smallest things, children, animals, just a nice sunny day. Never taking one moment for granted, ..When he is feeling good you’ll find him at the local skate park (even at 42 yrs. old), surfing, snowboarding or anything else he puts his mind too. Not to bad for a kid who was told in the 70’s that he’d never be able to WAlK! The Dr’s obviously didn’t know who they were talking to. 🙂