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Family raising money to help cover treatments for toddler who nearly drowned

Odessa American - 8/12/2017

Aug. 12--On Father's Day this year Juan Salinas, the father of a 2-year-old boy, faced possibly one of the worst days of his life--finding his son unconscious at the bottom of a swimming pool. Now Juan and Sara Lopez, the boy's mother, are trying to raise money to help get their 2-year-old back to normal.

Juan said on Father's Day, June 18, they were out swimming, having fun. After lunch he and his wife made 2-year-old Josiah Salinas get out of the pool and Juan said the boy was a little upset, but they got him out and they went into the house.

"We were lying down and I noticed the house was quiet," Juan said.

So Juan got up and began searching for the toddler, and once they noticed he wasn't in the house, Sara went into the backyard and straight to the pool. There, Josiah was resting at the bottom.

"She jumped in, I jumped in, she grabbed him and I grabbed him out of her arms, set him on the back porch and I was cleaning out his mouth," Juan said.

Juan said he performed CPR until emergency crews arrived. News reports show Odessa police and Odessa Fire Rescue responded to the 3100 block of North Adams Avenue at about 5:25 p.m. Sunday in reference to a drowning.

Josiah was transported to the emergency room at Medical Center Hospital with life-threatening injuries and then flown to a Lubbock hospital where he remained for several weeks in critical condition. Josiah is now staying at a children's hospital in Fort Worth with his mother by his side.

Juan said Josiah has suffered brain damage and an oxygen treatment from a doctor in New Orleans that could help reverse the effects is something their insurance will not cover. The parents heard of a three-year-old girl who was also involved in a similar incident and didn't breathe for several hours. With the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, or HBOT, Juan said the girl is now starting to walk and talk and is helping her get back to normal.

So, the couple has begun to raise money.

"We were told that he probably would not survive. He fought and has pulled through," the family wrote on a GoFundMe account to raise the money for the treatment. "This (medical treatment) is our only hope for Josiah to regain as much of a normal life as possible."

The family said Josiah would have to be in the HBOT chamber approximately one hour a day and would need to be in New Orleans for approximately 8 to 10 weeks. For 40 HBOT treatments it is $9,000 and Juan said the doctors have told them their son will need two treatments, which would total $18,000. So far, they have been able to raise about $6,500.

"I ask everyone to please help my son. Our insurance will not cover any of this treatment. We are in desperate need of help," the GoFundMe page said.

Juan said they are also selling bracelets to help raise money that say "Team Josiah" on them. For more information about the bracelets, visit Facebook page Help and Pray For Our Baby Josiah. To donate money for Josiah's treatment, visit his GoFundMe account.


(c)2017 the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas)

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