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Tip of the Month Recipient | JJ Truesdale Family

All tips given the month of February will be donated to the Jacob John, “JJ”, Truesdale family of Wapakoneta. JJ is 15 months old, younger brother to Ellie (2), and son to Nick and Shelby who are both teachers at Wapak City Schools. JJ was born on October 21, 2021 at 35 weeks, 6 days and spent his first 215 days of life in the hospital. He was born with 4 different airway defects that affected his ability to breathe and swallow: a tracheoesophogeal fistula with esophageal atresia (TEF/EA), choanal atresia, a type 3 laryngeal cleft, and tracheomalasia. JJ had surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital at just 4 days old to repair the TEF/EA which was successful. His choanal atresia was discovered about a month later and he underwent an emergency surgery to correct both that and the laryngeal cleft. A G-tube was also placed during that surgery since swallowing safely was a challenge for JJ. After several more months of procedures and surgeries to combat the tracheomalasia, JJ was transferred to the best ENT department in the country at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. There he underwent a major airway reconstruction surgery and additional procedures to try and correct the tracheomalasia. In May of 2022 it was decided that JJ’s best option was to undergo a tracheostomy so he could finally have a safe airway and come come.

After coming home, JJ has surpassed all expectations and is thriving. He could not even sit up when he first came home at 7 1/2 months old, but now he is getting ready to take his first steps thanks to the help of some amazing physical therapists. JJ will likely need to undergo several more procedures and surgeries before having his trach removed. His doctors plan to remove his trach in 2–5 years after he has had more time to grow and get stronger. His G-tube will also be removed after he learns how to safely eat and swallow which he works on daily with the help of speech therapy.

Thankfully JJ should not have any severe life-long effects even after everything he went through. JJ inspired his entire community by having the “JJ Mentality,” which means being a warrior and having the winning attitude in all that you do. He enjoys playing with his sister, Ellie, snuggling with his mommy, watching his daddy coach at Wapak football games, reading books, and tinkering with his toys. Let us keep the Truesdale family in our daily prayers. Your generous tip will help cover their ongoing medical bills. Thank you and God bless!

February 2023

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