MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar) – Joshua Ramirez is grateful for the support he has received in the past two years.
He is still recovering from a terrible car accident on October 2nd, 2019.
“He turned the corner and lost control of his vehicle. I had my earbuds in so I couldn’t really hear. I didn’t have time to react,” Ramirez said.
Joshua, now a senior at Legacy High School in Midland, was leaving campus for lunch. He was walking down a sidewalk, on his way to HEB. The last thing he heard were tires screeching. A car slammed into him, pinning him.
“I can’t move my leg. I can’t get on my feet,” Ramirez recalled. “So, I laid there for a minute.”
In a split second, that reckless driver, who was another student, changed Joshua’s life. After paramedics loaded Joshua into an ambulance, he says everything became a blur.
What lied next was perhaps the hardest decision for Joshua’s mother, Stephanie Hinojos.
“The doctors gave me a choice: ‘You can take him home like this, and there’s a chance he still might not be walking, or he has a chance with the prosthesis,'” Hinojos said.
That meant removing Joshua’s right leg, something unfathomable days earlier.
While at the hospital, Joshua said he experienced something called ‘ghost pains.’ On his hospital bed, he felt as if his right leg was still there. But it was gone.
“What made me realize was when my brothers came in. They asked me if I wanted to get my leg amputated and to stay here for a little bit and go home, or just stay there for a good year,” Ramirez said. “I was like, ‘I want to get my leg amputated. I want to go home. Then, that’s when my grandma came in and was like, ‘Good choice. It’s already amputated.'”
The next steps forward weren’t without challenges.
“There were days he’d wake up and didn’t want to do therapy,” Hinojos said.
But Stephanie told her son, he could make it through this painful and difficult stage in his life.
So, Joshua received his prosthetic leg, something that costs tens of thousands of dollars. But a month later, he was walking.
“At first, I was struggling just to throw the trash. But once I started doing it more, I got used to it,” Ramirez said. “It was like my bread and butter.”
The amputation forced not only Joshua, but his mother too, into a new routine.
They attend therapy three times a week. Both have recently returned from a doctor’s visit in Dallas. They are returning to Dallas next month, and sometimes, it causes Joshua to miss class. But things are getting better for the high schooler.
On Wednesday, Joshua and his mother were surprised with a $6,000 check to help with medical and travel expenses. It was part of a grant: a joint effort between the groups, Philanthropic Education Organization (P.E.O.), and the Texas Star Oaks Fund.
“This is really something we felt we needed to do. Josh is very deserving. He’s a fine young man,” said Jane Samples of P.E.O. “It’s just our pleasure. We’re glad that we have a grant that allows us to come up with funds pretty quickly.”
The check presentation is an incredible show of support from the community. It also shows, Joshua isn’t going through his recovery alone.
“I’m still in shock because that’s a lot of money. That’s something we actually need,” Ramirez said.
Joshua is able to play basketball again, a sport that requires another prosthetic leg, something he does have. He’s able to run, to be with friends, and to be himself again. Support from his family, his school, and the newly-befriended organizations are helping Joshua go the distance. He recognizes that.
It is a blessing, short and sweet.
“I probably wouldn’t be trying to complete my dreams, wouldn’t be trying to inspire other people,” Ramirez said.
“I’m very proud of him and everything he’s done, because he also pushes himself,” Hinojos said.