Palm Coast Miracle In The works!

June 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm 5 comments

By KENYA WOODARD, Staff writer for New Journal.

Shortly after Joseph James Parthemore was born, doctors told his parents he would be lucky to live for three days.

The tiny preemie suffered respiratory arrest as soon as he was taken from the womb via an emergency C-section. His right foot was clubbed and pinned tightly to his bottom. His left foot touched his shin, his diaphragm was partly paralyzed and his arms were contracted to his chest.

Joseph’s prognosis was so grim, doctors urged the family to make the most of the present time, said his mom, Leslie. “They said to get him baptized because they weren’t sure he’d make it.”

That was six months ago. Today, Joseph is home with his family in Palm Coast after months long stays at Jacksonville hospitals.

Mom and Dad, Dan — a deputy with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office — along with paternal grandparents, Jeff Sr. and Barbara, and older brother, Colton, 12, take turns showering him with affection.

After undergoing a battery of tests, doctors diagnosed Joseph with Escobar syndrome. It’s a rare form of Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, a disorder that limits the range of motion in the joints of the arms and legs. Joseph also has scoliosis, Leslie said.

The Parthemores say they had no indication of Joseph’s perilous condition prior to his birth, although doctors considered Leslie’s pregnancy high-risk because she lost a daughter shortly after giving birth some years ago. A sonogram showed only Joseph’s clubbed foot, and the results of an amniocentesis test — a procedure done to diagnose chromosomal disorders — were fine, Leslie said.

But a month before she was due to give birth, Leslie began having problems. And within hours of his birth, the critically ill Joseph and his father were in an ambulance headed to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, where Joseph was admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit.

Joseph’s lengthy hospitalization required Leslie to quit her job as a certified medical assistant and Dan was forced to take a two-month leave of absence. Both she and Dan made daily trips to Jacksonville to see their son, with Colton, Jeff Sr. and Barbara joining them on the weekends.

The family kept watch as Joseph experienced good days and bad days, Leslie said.

“It was kind of an hour-by-hour thing with him,” she said. “It was a roller coaster.”

After two months at Shands, a brief stay at home and then another two months at Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Joseph was finally released to go home last week.

Joseph still needs assistance to eat and breathe and he’s connected to machines that help him do both. A nurse is at his side 24 hours a day.

Nevertheless, Joseph is thriving at home, Dan said. “He’s more active and interactive with people coming and going,” he said.

In the future, Joseph’s legs and arms will be splinted to straighten them. He faces years of visits with specialists for therapy and treatment and could be attached to a tracheotomy tube for up to two years, his parents said.

But the Parthemores feel blessed to have their son.

“It’s not ‘Why me?’ but ‘Take care of the baby,’ ” Leslie said. “He’s not a hardship for me.”

Joseph’s parents are facing the daily trials head-on with optimism, Barbara said.

“They’ve both stepped up to the plate,” she said. “I think God had a special plan for this baby.”

Want to help?

A combination of Medicaid and private insurance is helping to pay most of the medical bills — which are approaching $500,000 — for Joseph Parthemore but the family says Medicaid doesn’t cover all of the baby’s needs, such as the ties that secure his tracheotomy tube to his neck.

A 10count box of such ties costs $42 and the ties must be changed twice a day, according to his mother, Leslie Parthemore. She estimates the one-income family spends about $1,500 per month just to buy the gauze, diapers and other items Joseph uses daily.

– We here at Baby Pickel along with our cherished partners and friends believe in the name of Jesus for a total healing for little Joseph. He said “By His stripes, we are healed!” We believe this and together agree. Amen.

If you feel compelled to give please visit Baby Pickel and use the “donate” button. Specify  “Joseph” within the donation and we will forward all your giving to their beautiful family.

We also ask for you to check out the unique baby jar gifts.


Entry filed under: Guest Post.

Thank you for the love! Our Mommas in the Workforce

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lisa walker  |  May 22, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    hi there our baby has got athrogryposis and we are really scared they told us that our baby might die which has scared us even more. is there any advice that you could give us on this

  • 2. The Caring Gift of Strangers « Divorce  |  July 28, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    […] This new-age pickle jar strives to help the less-fortunate mothers who find themselves struggling with both finances and situations. To read one of their stories, click on the following link: Palm Coast Miracle in the Works […]

  • 3. Lynn @ Walking With Scissors  |  June 29, 2010 at 4:47 am

    Poor little sweetheart. I’ll be praying.

  • 4. singlemama_cc  |  June 29, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Oh my, heartbreaking….sending prayers your way~

  • 5. Brian  |  June 28, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Wow that’s heart wrenching… Definitely going to stand in agreement with that prayer for healing! Thanx for the post Pickel!


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