11-5-12 UPDATE: We were in court today for the sentencing and the man responsible for the attack plead guilty and was sentenced to 76 months. This statement was read by Josh's mom in court:
I have been thinking for a long time about what to say here today. Your actions on that night have greatly affected an entire family. Not only did you beat my son and leave him for dead, but you killed a part of me as well. I can close my eyes and I still hear that phone call. “Mom, I just woke up and I think I’ve been beat.” I can close my eyes and see Josh stumbling on the street covered in blood, confused and in tears. I did not sleep for weeks because everytime I closed my eyes, I saw one of my children with their heads beaten in.
While I do not know you or the life that you have lived, I know that on that night you choose a path that would not only ruin your life, but greatly affect the life of another. Luckily Josh survived the attack but his recovery is far from over and he may suffer with brain damage for the rest of his life.
While today you will be sentenced to time in prison, Josh will be living in a prison of his own. He had plans to get a job, start college and pursue his dreams of acting and teaching, and move out with friends. Now that has all been put on hold while he recovers and we wait to learn the extent of damage. He has to worry about how his medical bills are going to get paid and how he will pay for the tests he still requires. You, on the other hand, will not have any of these worries.
All of this over a few bucks. The sad thing is what you don’t realize is that if you needed money so bad that night, all you had to do was ask. Josh is the type of person that would have just given it to you if he thought you needed it.
While my focus is on my son and his recovery, I do hope that you will take your time in prison and learn from your actions. You will have a few years to think about what you did and turn your life around. Josh, however, may be left with damage for the rest of his life.
We just got back from the neurologist and not exactly the news we were hoping for. The neurologist showed us 5-6 spots on the brain that are questionable and he is listed as having diffuse axonal injuries. The doctor basically said he has microtears in the brain. Given the symptoms he has, the doctor wants to give it a few months for the swelling to completely go down and then Josh will have to undergo an MRI scan with tractography, a T2** and functional sequences for speech. For right now, he wants Josh resting and sleeping as much as his body feels it needs to and to gradually work on challenging his brain with word puzzles and such to help with cognitive ability.
UPDATE: The man responsible for this attack on Josh has been arrested and charged with Assault II and Burglary I. We will be appearing before the grand jury soon and, as a mother, I will be doing everything I can to make sure this guy goes away forever. He had a record and was on probation...he should never have been on the streets!!!
Please check the UPDATES tab for regular updates, including links to local area news coverage.
A Mother's Worst Nightmare
On Monday, September 17, I received a phone call at 9:41 that no mother should ever have to receive. My son Joshua had been over at his girlfriend's house and was walking the short 10 minute walk over to another friend's house with the plans of heading to a video game release. This was a walk he had done many times before....a walk past the high school he graduated from.
The phone rang and once I heard the muffled voice on the other line, I knew something was wrong. The words out of his mouth still send chills down my spine. "Mom, I just woke up and I think I have been beaten." Without thinking, I grbbed my keys and was out the door. The problem...he didn't know where he was. He found street signs and I raced to find him. I was not ready to see what I found.
He was on the side of the street, only two blocks away from his friend's house. He had dried blood all over his face and he was swollen everywhere. He had no idea what had happened or how he had gotten where he was. I immediately called 911 and the ambulance and police arrived.
He was immediately transported to the local hospital and the extent of his injuries were discovered. He had numerous breaks in his face, including the eye orbit and he had bleeding on the brain. He had no memory of the attack and no idea what was going on. He asked the same questions over and over again. Even with all my medical experience, I felt so helpless. I knew it was bad, but I wasn't prepared for the doctor coming in and telling me just how bad.
The doctor explained the injuries and the fact that Josh was lucky he got there when he did because his injuries very well could have been fatal. The local hospital was not equipped to deal with his injuries and we were told he was beging transported to Portland.
He was loaded back into the ambulance and we got in the car for the 1.5 hour drive away. He was admitted and we learned more about his injuries.
The bleed on the brain,, luckily, was small and they believe it will not require surgery. At this point, they are optimistic that his face could heal without surgical intervention, but we will need to wait for the swelling to go down a bit.
Because I work from home and am able to take care of Josh, the doctors have released him but his recovery is far from over. As with most head injuries, it is going to take to see what the damage is. His face is still numb due to the pain, but that is going to quickly change as the swelling goes down and he has a long road to recovery. We have to travel back up to Portland weekley so they can evaluate the damage and facial surgery may still be in the near future.
Unfortunately, like many Americans. Josh does not have medical insurance and the bills for his care, transportation and medication are going to be large. Between two different hospital ER stays, the multiple CAT scans, ambulance trips, trauma specialists, facial surgeon consults and neurologist consults, he will be looking at a large amount of bills. We are applying for crime vitim assistance and hoping that will help reduce the bills. Anything that is raised above and beyond the medical care will be divided up between a medical fund for Josh in case of any long term care that may be required due to the brain injury as well as an organization set up in his name designed to help victims of crime in Albany which his mother will manage. No victim should be faced with these worries.
He is 19 years old and have the dream of bing a teacher and pursuing his love of acting and to start out on that journey with huge medical bills is not fair to him.
We are running this campaign to raise the money for Josh's care and recovery and could use your help. Josh is loved by so many people and has touched so many lives. He gives of his time and will do everything he can for his friends and family. But this time, he needs your help.
Please donate what you can and help spread the word. Together, we can all make sure Josh gets the care he needs and recovers to pursue his dreams.
We have been lucky enough to gain support of some amazing people and businesses. Please take a moment to visit these businesses as a way of saying thank you or take advantage of some of the amazing perks they have donated by making a donation. If you are a business and would be willing to donate goods or services to be used as a perk, please contact Deborah @ debbraconnier AT gmail dot com.
We are also working on getting a blog-a-thon of sorts going. If you have a blog and would be willing to write a post about my son and share his story and a link to this page, please contact Deborah @ debbraconnier AT gmail dot com. We will be listing all our contributing bloggers here. A special thanks to all those that are sharing Joshua's story.
Other Ways You Can Help
We understand that not everyone is going to be able to make a donation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help:
- Ask folks to get the word out and make some noise about your campaign.
- Visit the Facebook page Praying For Josh
We will update this page on a regular basis as Josh travels the road to recovery.