Hoops Family Children’s Hospital Celebration Reminds Mother of Excellent Care

Many families have amazing stories that began at the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital and cover decades of care.

Talking about her son makes Anita Stewart light up. Like many parents, she is proud of the man he has become, but for a very different reason – he almost didn’t make it past infancy. Just one week after Timothy Joshua Ray Braden was born, Anita found him lifeless in his crib. 

“I was sitting near his bassinet and, like I always did, I glanced over to check on him. This time he didn’t look right,” Stewart recalls. “I picked him up and he was like a rag doll, just limp in my arms. I tried several times to wake him up with no luck.”

Stewart called to her husband, who quickly packed their son in the car and drove to the nearest hospital.

“When we got to the hospital, Josh’s lips were blue and he wasn’t breathing,” Stewart said. “I watched as the staff used a bag on him to help him breathe while transporting him out the back to an ambulance. They sent him to Cabell Huntington Hospital.”

Stewart and her husband arrived at the hospital to hear that their son was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and not doing well.

“He was on life support and for a week, he just laid there,” said Stewart, sharing that the only sign of life her son gave was a tear running down his cheek. “We had heard that if he did pull through he would have significant brain damage and breathing problems. If it wasn’t for the kind, empathetic nurses and staff, I wouldn’t have been able to think straight. They kept me informed and helped me cope with the prognosis.”

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Joshua Braden at two months old

The outcome looked grim and Stewart was faced with the decision to take her son off life support. After three weeks, she decided to go to a quiet place to pray before making a decision.

“It’s hard to explain, but a peace washed over me,” she said. “Then I heard my name called over the intercom to come back to the ICU. When I got there, all the nurses hugged me and said that Josh was breathing on his own.”

Two days later, Josh was sent home with only a heart monitor to track his progress. Thirty-five years later, Josh is the owner of several cross-fit health facilities in Columbus, Ohio.

“I look at him now and see a healthy, physically fit man with a beautiful wife and three children of his own and am still in awe that he made it through all that happened,” said Stewart. “If I could remember every single nurse and doctor who stayed with us and never gave up, I’d send a list for recognition.”

 

Stewart said she and her husband strongly supported the development of a children’s hospital. “We knew the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital would be something that would bring the community peace of mind. Cabell Huntington Hospital has always made children’s health a priority. I’m thankful for all they did to ensure others receive the same amazing care we received years ago.”