Breakfast to help transplant families

Sue Guinn Legg • Feb 10, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Josh Adcock is a small boy with big challenges. Diagnosed with Schimke immunoosseous dysplasia, Josh’s condition is rare, progressive and characterized by a failure to grow, immune system deficiency and kidney failure.

According to his mother, Tammy, at age 7 Josh is about the size of a 3 year old. He began dialysis last spring and if all goes according to plan he’ll undergo a kidney transplant at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville in March.

His parents are anticipating $7,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses related to the transplant, the maximum required by their health insurance. They’ve met that maximum every year since Josh’s condition was diagnosed. They’ve lost track of how much they’ve spent on medicine, although Tammy is certain its more than $10,000 annually.

Following the transplant, Tammy, who left her job at Gray Elementary School in August because of the demands of Josh’s caregiving, will stay with him in Nashville for two months of follow-up care while his dad, Terry, returns home to work and visits them on weekends. Tammy is already working with Vanderbilt to find an apartment for them near the hospital.

The family knows they’re in for a tough couple of months but Tammy is confident of Josh’s ability to bounce back.

“He’s a fighter,” she said. “He’s fought his way off a ventilator twice. He miraculously survived a bad seizure last summer. And last week he suffered a stroke that slurred his speech and caused right-side weakness but left no permanent damage.” After everything they’ve been through, she said, “We just count our blessings each and every time we get to bring him home.”

Tammy and Terry are also counting their blessings for Gray Elementary teacher Jennifer Galloway, who volunteered to be Josh’s organ donor and also will be out of work for some weeks after the transplant.

On Saturday, Sulphur Springs Baptist Church will host a benefit breakfast to help both Josh and Jennifer’s families with expenses related to the transplant. The breakfast will include homemade biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit, juice, coffee and cinnamon rolls. “It’s a big breakfast,” Tammy said. And it all comes for a donation of any amount a guest wishes to contribute.

Hours will be from 7-10:30 a.m. at the church at 1567 Gray-Sulphur Springs Road.

For those who can’t come to breakfast but would like to help, The PHIL (People Helping in Love) Foundation established last year by friends at Sulphur Springs and Boone Trail Baptist churches, is collecting donations for Josh and his family. Donations to the PHIL Foundation earmarked for the “Josh Adcock Transplant” may be mailed to 158 Highland Road, Jonesborough, TN 37659.

Five years ago last August, 29-year-old Bridgette Wine of Gray was diagnosed with a spinal arteriovenous malformation, a rare congenital disease that has caused the veins and arteries to knot together in her spinal column.

Wine’s mother, Donna Cooper, said the symptoms began with Wine shuffling her feet as she walked. Late last spring she began using a walker. In early December, she went from a walker to a wheelchair. And since then, Cooper said, she has become paralyzed from her chest down. Doctors believe the paralysis will be permanent.

In-home therapists are working with Wine to increase her mobility and members of the Gray Community Chest are collecting donations for a wheelchair lift that will allow her to move from floor to floor in her and her husband’s split-level home. The cost of the lift is about $8,000.

For those who wish to help with the expense, donations to Gray Community Chest earmarked for “Scott and Bridgett Wine,” may be made by mail to Gray Community Chest, P.O. Box 8024, Gray, TN 37615.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335.

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