Ask those who know Joseph Broderick well, and they’ll tell you you’re rarely find him sitting still. As an 8-year-old sports-enthusiast, Joe can usually be found playing outside and staying active. But last year, Joe came down with Influenza B and had complications leading to respiratory failure – a situation that quickly became serious for him and his family.
Joe’s parents, Shane and Anne, took him to the clinic for what they thought was a cold, but a day or so later, Joe was still having problems breathing. The Brodericks ended up in the Blank Children’s Hospital Emergency Room, where staff admitted Joe and began non-stop breathing treatments overnight. After being on the ventilator for 11 days, Joe lost all strength and faculties. But he fought through.
“We felt so helpless, but the nurses and doctors at Blank Children’s were so wonderful,” said Anne. “They kept us informed and made us feel like our Joey was the most important patient in the hospital. When they took him off of the breathing machines and his eyes were finally open, it was one of the best days of our lives.”
Over the next seven days, Joe worked extremely hard to build up his strength and motor skills with the therapists.
“He had a long way to get back to where he was before the illness, but being able to play sports was the motivator for him,” said Anne. “The doctors and nurses kept telling us that it would take time, but we just wanted immediate results.”
Joe did reconnect with his basketball and baseball team a few weeks after his illness, beginning to play again for just a few minutes at a time. Joe’s family and hospital staff were impressed by how quickly Joe was recovering.
“We attributed it to his fitness and determination from before the illness,” said Shane. “Joe used those same ideals to rebuild his strength.”
By six months after his hospitalization, Joe was stronger than he had been before the illness. Joe was fortunate to make a 100 percent recovery, only maintaining his routine check-up schedule. He’s back in action, playing the sports he loves – basketball, baseball, football and soccer.
“We are extremely grateful for the wonderful staff at Blank Children’s Hospital for caring for Joe and our family throughout his illness,” said Shane. “We appreciate that all of our children are healthy, that appreciation has grown more since we went through this. As a family we have always told each other how much we love one another and hug each other often every day. We never take these things for granted anymore.”