Tammy Adcock, Joshua’s mother, said the annual donations to Niswonger are a way to keep Joshua’s memory alive by providing other pediatric patients the things that gave Joshua comfort, as well as parent bags that contain restaurant gift cards, toiletries and other comfort items.
“He had a bunny that he held onto for dear life for 8-and-a-half years. Stuffed animals were a big deal to him,” she said about Joshua, who suffered from a rare form of dwarfism resulting in kidney failure, bone marrow failure, seizures and strokes.
“These are just little things we knew helped him during his hospital stay — because, when you’re in the hospital, you don’t have a lot of your own things, but you have your blankets and your stuffed animal in your bed with you, even if you have to go to the OR or anything.”
The Adcocks have also previously provided gifts for the staff at Niswonger, who Tammy said helped make some of Joshua’s last days as comfortable as possible. To the Adcocks, many of the nurses and doctors at the children’s hospital “were like family.”
“Josh would literally run in and see a doctor or nurse and jumped in their arms. That’s how loved he felt here,” Tammy said. “It’s good for our hearts to be able to do what so many did for us while we were here.”
Thursday’s donated items were provided through the PHIL — People Helping in Love — Foundation, named after Josh’s uncle, who died of cancer in 2010. Supporting the foundation were members of the Adcock family’s church at Sulphur Springs Baptist Church, as well as other local community organizations and businesses like Select Seven Credit Union, Carter Trent Funeral Homes, Appalachian Dental Associates and Cornerstone Fellowship Church in Fall Branch, where a member of the congregation, Kim Carberry, worked to make some of the blankets provided to Niswonger.
Throughout the past few years, the PHIL Foundation has held multiple fundraiser events to support families during health crises by assisting with bills, meals and other expenses.
“There were a lot of people involved — it isn’t just about us standing here,” Joshua’s father, Terry Adcock, said. “There are a lot of people who continue to support the foundation in the church.”
For more information on the PHIL Foundation and its other fundraiser events, visit www.philfoundation.org.