Gift of Love: Joseph Needs Chance At A Better Life -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

7/11/07 - East Texas

Gift of Love: Joseph Needs Chance At A Better Life

It was a calm Saturday afternoon in July 2004. That calm was shattered when gun fire rang out in a Texas neighborhood. Wen it was all over, 4 people were found shot, 3 were dead. The only survivor was a 5 year old boy named Joseph. Barely alive, he was airlifted to a Dallas Children's Hospital. 

"He was injured with a gun shot wound to the head," said Lori Sutton White, his caseworker with Child Protective Services.

Joseph was not expected to ever walk or talk again. Today, at almost 9 years old, this young boy is proving them wrong. He continues to surprise those who come in contact with him from his therapist, to his caseworker.

"He has that spirit of determination and he has the capabilities somewhere in his memory we just have to pull them out," says Lori.

Each day is a challenge for Joseph as he strives to make progress. "He does have some chronic injuries. He lost the frontal lob of his brain and that is going to cause him to have some pretty severe developmental delays." Lori goes on to say, "He does have blindness in one eye. His right eye I believe and his left eye he does have some visual lose. That's something that he'll have to have continually followed up on."

Although his words are few, he doesn't have a problem communicating with those around him. Lori says, "He uses some tones to let you know if he's happy or sad or upset and I think he will be able to show and demonstrate lots of love and affection for his forever family."

Joseph needs a family willing to except his limitations at this point, but one that can also help him strive to reach new goals.

This young boy's life was changed dramatically 3 years ago on that fateful July day. Everyone around him now is hoping it will change dramatically again, with the Gift of Love.

"I just think Joseph has the ability to give and he's already shown what spirit he has and I just think he deserves the love of a family," says Lori.

Joseph continues to make progress through a special education program at school. He will also need to continue physical, occupational and speech therapy. There are a number of resources available to help a family meet his medical needs.

If you'd like to know more about Joseph call our Gift of Love hotline, toll-free, 1-888-kids-275.

Gillian Sheridan reporting

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