~ In Loving Memory of Joshua Bell ~
11/26/86 - 1/14/90


JOSHUA'S STORY


I WAS VERY YOUNG WHEN I HAD JOSHUA. I WAS 19 AND SO WAS HIS DAD. BUT WHEN I FOUND OUT THAT I WAS PREGNANT I WAS VERY HAPPY AND COULDN'T WAIT TO HAVE THE PERFECT BABY. FOR ABOUT THE FIRST FIVE MONTHS EVERYTHING WENT SMOOTHLY BUT WHEN I WAS ABOUT 25 WEEKS PREGNANT SOMETHING WENT WRONG. I WAS WATCHING A MOVIE AND ABOUT EVERY 15 MINUTES I HAD PAINS BUT FOR A WHILE DIDN'T THINK ANYTHING OF IT. AFTER ABOUT TWO OR SO HOURS THEY WERE NOT STOPPING SO I CALLED THE DOCTOR AND SHE SAID THAT IF THEY WERE ABLE TO BE TIMED IT WAS PROBABLY PRETERM LABOR AND FOR ME TO GET TO MAGEE HOSPITAL RIGHT AWAY. SO WE DID. THEY WERE ABLE TO GIVE ME MEDICATION TO STOP THE LABOR AND I STAYED FOR A FEW DAYS AND WENT HOME ON BED REST. WELL, THIS HAPPENED AGAIN AND AGAIN UNTIL MY WATER BROKE AND THERE WAS NOTHING THE DOCTORS OR ANY ONE COULD DO BUT PRAY. JOSHUA WAS BORN ON NOVEMBER 26, 1986, AT 28 WEEKS OF GESTATION. HE WAS 13 INCHES LONG AND 2LB 12 OZ. VERY TINY BUT THE DOCTORS SAID THAT IF HE MADE THE FIRST 72 HOURS THERE WAS A GOOD CHANCE THAT HE WOULD SURVIVE.




WELL HE DIDN'T NEED A RESPIRATOR AT ALL WHICH WAS SURPRISING AND HE ONLY NEEDED OXYGEN FOR 12 HOURS THEN HE COULD BREATHE ON HIS OWN. HE DID SO WELL THAT ON DECEMBER 23, 1986, HE CAME HOME, AND THAT WAS MUCH SOONER THAN ANYONE HAD EXPECTED. IT WAS THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER. WELL FOR ABOUT 5 MONTHS I THOUGHT I HAD A PERFECT BUT VERY TINY BABY AND THAT NOTHING COULD EVER GO WRONG AGAIN. BUT WHEN JOSH WAS ABOUT 6 MONTHS OLD I STARTED TO NOTICE THAT HE WAS NOT PROGRESSING LIKE HE SHOULD. THE DOCTOR ASSURED ME THAT JOSH WOULD COME ALONG IN HIS OWN TIME THAT ALL PREEMIES ARE A LITTLE SLOW AT FIRST. SO I BELIEVED HIM. BUT THEN AT 9 MONTHS WHEN JOSH WAS STILL NOT DOING THINGS LIKE SITTING OR HOLDING HIS HEAD UP OR EVEN TRYING TO CRAWL THAT IS WHEN THE DOCTORS STARTED TO WORRY. WE WERE SENT TO CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL FOR TESTS WHERE WE WERE TOLD THAT JOSHUA HAD CEREBRAL PALSY WITH SPASTIC QUADRIPLEGIA. WE WERE HORRIFIED. THE DOCTORS SAID THAT HE WOULD NEVER WALK OR TALK OR DO ANYTHING THAT A "NORMAL CHILD WOULD." WELL I KNEW THEY WERE WRONG.



WE GOT HIM PHYSICAL THERAPY AND ENROLLED HIM IN A GROUP FOR HANDICAPPED CHILDREN THAT HELPED HIM SO MUCH. BY THE TIME HE WAS 18 MONTHS JOSH WAS TALKING IN SENTENCES AND HE LET US KNOW WHAT HE WANTED AND WHEN HE WANTED IT. HE STAYED WITH THAT GROUP UNTIL HE WAS 2 1/2 AND THEN WAS ENROLLED IN EASTER SEALS PRESCHOOL. BY THEN HE KNEW HIS COLORS HOW TO COUNT AND ALOT OF THINGS THAT MOST 2 YEAR OLDS KNEW AND MORE. MENTALLY HE WAS TWO AND TERRIBLE TWO AT THAT. HE TOOK TANTRUMS JUST LIKE ANY OTHER TODDLER WOULD AT THAT AGE. HE WAS AS NORMAL AS ANY OTHER CHILD HIS AGE EXCEPT THAT HE DIDN'T WALK. HIS PROBLEMS WERE ONLY PHYSICAL. SOMETHING THAT HE COULD HAVE OVERCOME. HE HAD A VERY STRONG WILL AND COULD HAVE DONE ANYTHING HE PUT HIS MIND TO. HE DID HAVE SOME HEALTH PROBLEMS. HE WAS VERY SMALL FOR HIS AGE BUT THE DOCTORS SAID THAT WAS NORMAL FOR A CHILD WITH CEREBRAL PALSY.



HE ALSO HAD VERY LARGE TONSILS AND ADENOIDS THAT WHEN HE SLEPT HE HAD ALOT OF TROUBLE BREATHING. WE TOOK HIM TO A SPECIALIST AT WEST PENN HOSPITAL WHO SAID THAT IF THEY WERE REMOVED THAT HE SHOULD BE FINE. THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MINOR SURGERY. IT WAS SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 2, 1990. SAME DAY SURGERY HE WAS TO COME HOME THAT SAME DAY. SO WE WENT EARLY THAT MORNING AND NEVER IN MY WILDEST DREAMS DID I EVER EXPECT THAT THIS WOULD BE THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE. IT WAS TONSIL SURGERY. WE WAITED IN THE WAITING ROOM PATIENTLY FOR THE FIRST HOUR OR SO THEN I BECAME A LITTLE NERVOUS BECAUSE IT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO TAKE AS LONG AS IT WAS TAKING. THEN A WHILE LATER (IT SEEMED LIKE HOURS) A DOCTOR CAME OUT AND SAID THERE WERE PROBLEMS AND THEY RUSHED US TO THIS ROOM WHERE THEY TOLD US THAT WHEN THEY HAD ADMINISTERED ANESTHESIA, HE WENT INTO CARDIAC ARREST. HIS HEART WAS STOPPED FOR SEVERAL MINUTES AND THEY HAD NO WAY OF KNOWING WHAT KIND OF BRAIN DAMAGE THAT THIS HAS CAUSED. WELL THAT WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE END. THEY SAID THAT THEY WOULD KNOW IN 48 HOURS.



HE HAD TEST AFTER TEST AND EACH ONE CAME BACK WORSE THAN THE ONE BEFORE. FINALLY THEY TOLD US THERE WAS NOTHING MORE THAT COULD BE DONE THAT OUR BABY WAS BRAIN DEAD. THEY GAVE US THE OPTION OF LEAVING HIM ON A RESPIRATOR ALL HIS LIFE AND PUTTING HIM IN A HOME THAT COULD CARE FOR HIM, BUT HE WOULD NEVER REGAIN CONSCIOUSNESS OR HAVE ANY QUALITY OF LIFE. OR WE COULD SHUT OFF THE RESPIRATOR AND HE WOULD GO PEACEFULLY. THAT WAS THE MOST AGONIZING DECISION I EVER HAD TO MAKE. AFTER THINKING AND AGONIZING FOR WHAT SEEMED TO BE A LIFETIME TRYING TO DECIDE WHAT WOULD BE BEST FOR OUR LITTLE BOY. WE DECIDED TO SHUT THE RESPIRATOR OFF AND LEAVE IT IN GODS HANDS. WELL HE WAS SUPPOSED TO GO AFTER ABOUT AND HOUR AND HE DIDN'T. I WAS SO HOPEFUL FOR A MIRACLE. I HELD HIM FOR HOURS AND EVERYONE SAID TO LET HIM GO BUT I WANTED TO HOLD HIM. I DIDN'T GET TO HOLD HIM WHEN HE WAS BORN I WANTED TO HOLD HIM WHEN IF HE WAS GOING TO DIE. THE DOCTORS STILL INSISTED THAT THERE WAS NO HOPE BUT I WANTED A MIRACLE. WELL HE MADE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT AND THEN THEY SENT HIM TO A ROOM. WELL, THIS WENT ON FOR ABOUT 2 DAYS AND WE FINALLY WERE TOLD THAT WE SHOULD GO HOME AND GET SOME REST THAT THERE WAS NOTHING WE COULD DO THERE. I WENT HOME VERY RELUCTANTLY AND CALLED THE HOSPITAL EVERY HOUR TO CHECK ON HIM UNTIL I FINALLY PASSED OUT FROM EXHAUSTION. THE NEXT MORNING I WAS GOING TO GO TO CHURCH THEN GO TO THE HOSPITAL WHEN THE PHONE RANG AND THE DOCTOR SAID THAT WE SHOULD COME RIGHT AWAY. WELL THAT WAS THE LONGEST RIDE OF MY LIFE AND WHEN WE GOT THERE OUR LITTLE ANGEL WAS GONE.



I WILL NEVER FORGIVE MYSELF FOR LEAVING THE HOSPITAL AND NOT BEING THERE. WE NEVER DID FIND OUT EXACTLY WHY HE HAD THE CARDIAC ARREST. THEY SAID IT WAS AN ALLERGIC REACTION AND THAT THAT IS ONE OF THE VERY RARE RISKS. I REALLY DIDN'T THINK THAT IT WOULD HELP ANYWAY MY PRECIOUS BABY WAS GONE AND NOTHING WOULD BRING HIM BACK. I NEVER STOP MISSING MY ANGEL JOSHUA BUT THERE ARE TIMES WHEN I CAN LOOK AT PICTURES AND VIDEOS AND LAUGH THROUGH THE TEARS AS I REMEMBER ALL THE THINGS HE USED TO DO. AT FIRST I NEVER THOUGHT THAT I WOULD BE ABLE TO LOOK AT THESE THINGS BUT I AM SO GLAD THAT I HAVE THEM AND THAT I CAN WATCH THEM AND SHOW HIS BROTHERS TOO SO THAT THEY WILL NEVER FORGET HIM. I LOVE AND MISS HIM SO MUCH BUT I KNOW THAT WE HAVE A VERY SPECIAL ANGEL WATCHING OVER US ALL THE TIME.



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This webpage is created
In Loving Memory of Joshua Bell
on October 19, 2000
Last updated: October 29, 2014
2000 - 2014





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