Odessa, TEXAS (Big 2/FOX 24) – Meet an Odessan, who against all the odds, will celebrate his 13th birthday on Saturday. His family is sharing their story in hopes of inspiring others.
The youngest of four children, Joseph Ojeda, brought into the world surrounded by fear and uncertainty.
“The doctor had gone into the waiting room and explained to the family, Joseph’s not going to make it throughout the night,” said Annette Ojeda, Joseph’s mom. “We’re not sure about the mom because I had lost so much blood. So, we weren’t supposed to make it through that day.”
He was born at 22 weeks with many complications, including only a third of his brain.
“He had a stage four brain bleed. He wasn’t supposed to walk; he wasn’t supposed to talk; he wasn’t supposed to dress himself, take care of himself. He was just going to be a vegetable,” said Annette Ojeda.
But soon, Joseph will celebrate his 13th birthday with his entire family.
“We didn’t think he’d get this far, so we’re very proud,” said Jasmine Vasquez, Joseph’s sister.
While Joseph is a little camera shy, he still loves to do the things other kids his age do.
“My son loves cars. He can sit there and name cars and trucks. If it’s a Chevy, it’s a Ford,” said Ojeda.
“We got out somewhere, and he’s like, oh, that’s a Challenger. Oh, that’s a Mustang,” said Vasquez.
Every year a gift, for a boy who wasn’t supposed to live through the night.
“We are living proof that it can happen,” said Ojeda. “These stories, they bring up hope.”
Hope after a difficult beginning. The Ojeda family says faith and family kept them going through the hard times.
A social distancing birthday parade will start tomorrow at 4:30 pm. It begins at Lee Buice Elementary in Odessa. Then, they will make their way to the 600 block of Purdue Street. Everyone is invited.
They asked the community to get involved on Facebook by bringing unique cars since Joseph loves cars. They say the response has been overwhelming.