Meet Joseph: 2020 Family Advocacy Week Champion

JosephJoseph is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Week from August 10-14, 2020. Through this special event, Joseph and his family will share information about his health journey, Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital’s role in providing Joseph with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of kids like Joseph.

During a prenatal exam, a large mass was detected in Joseph’s mother’s womb. It was later discovered that the mass was obstructing the development of Joseph’s kidneys.

The doctors at the University of Maryland Medical System said Joseph’s chance of survival were slim and, if he did survive, he would have medical complications due to dissolved kidneys. The family pressed on and pursued a full-term pregnancy.

“At first we were extremely sad to learn about Joseph’s condition, but once we made our decision to go through with the pregnancy, things began happening very quickly,” says Sia, Joseph’s mother. “There were so many decisions to be made, and they had to be made quickly. We consulted with many different specialists. We just focused on the next step and then the next.”

After a successful birth, Joseph received dialysis on a weekly basis. Then, at 4 years old he received a kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.

The surgery went well, however Joseph has had multiple minor follow-up surgeries to remove fluid buildup from the transplant. He sees specialists at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital for rehab, complex care, primary care and speech, physical and occupational therapies. He also sees a specialist in the feeding clinic.

Today, Joseph is 9 years old, and his condition is stabilizing. He recently had a stent placed in his kidney to relieve some pressure. While Joseph needs 24-hour care, he is able to attend school with the help of the head nurse and private nurse. Joseph is fun, loving and excited about life. He enjoys watching football and loves to color.

“Thanks to Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, Joseph was given the opportunity to thrive,” says Sia “he is doing well. He’s a happy kid–even though he has a lot going on he still continues to smile.”

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