What do Oprah Winfrey, a professor from Governors State University, a psychologist from Chicago, and the kindness of many have in common? They are all helping Joshua, a 13-month old baby from Ireland.
Joshua was born with arthrogryposis, a rare congenital malformation of the joints. His legs were amputated above the knee when he was a month old and his remaining joints failed to develop. The cognitively normal baby faces an uncertain future. Medical understanding for his condition in Ireland is minimal and treatment is limited.
“I was basically told to take him home and bring him back when he was seven years old for a wheelchair,” explained Gillian Duffy-Huff, Joshua’s mother. Duffy-Huff and Joshua were at Governors State University last month to discuss her son’s condition and treatment with students studying physical therapy.
Dr. Russell Carter, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at GSU, arranged for the visit. “I wanted our students to understand what happens when the healthcare system does not respond to the needs of the patient. This was an opportunity for them to see a rare deformity and to meet an amazing parent.”
Office of Public Affairs, "Baby and Mother Visit GSU Physical Therapy Class" (2007). Press Releases. 238.