‘Thank you for praying for me’: Odessa boy fights to recover after losing arm in July 4th boating accident

Local News

FORT WORTH, Texas (Nexstar) – An Odessa family is sharing the story of their son’s remarkable recovery after he was severely injured over the Fourth of July.

9-year-old Jusiah is hospitalized at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Forth Worth. It’s the second hospital he’s been at since a horrible boating accident in San Angelo.

“He fell over, hit his head… and his arm got stuck in a propeller, and ripped it off,” said Anjel Martinez, Jusiah’s mother. “His life jacket got caught in it. His dad had to jump in to cut him loose and pull him out.”

Jusiah was taken to a hospital in San Angelo, where doctors were unable to save his right arm. Anjel says doctors told her the propeller severed two major arteries.

“They didn’t know how he was alive because there was no blood,” Martinez said. “They didn’t understand how that happened.”

Her son, who will be going into the fourth grade, has had surgeries to deal with infections where his right arm was, and now in one of his legs. Anjel says the lakewater has led to the growth of fungus.

“There’s literally moments where he’s in his nerve pain, which is hard to control and we just have to sit here hearing him crying and screaming,” Martinez said. “We can’t do anything to make it better.”

While there are moments of frustration and anger, as the family waits alongside their son in his hospital room, Jusiah is the one keeping the family going, together and strong.

“From the moment he woke up in the ICU, he told me, ‘Momma, I know what happened to me, and I know I don’t have an arm. But it’s okay. I will just learn to use my left arm,'” Martinez recalls.

The young boy’s optimism is unparalleled. There are no complaints from Jusiah. Anjel says, he’s dealing with his recovery like a ‘champ.’

“I’m kind of getting used to it,” Jusiah said. “I haven’t been drawing or writing or anything, ever since I came.”

Jusiah says he’s been working on big Lego sets after he started feeling a little better.

“I have a bunch of Legos, though. I have a Batman one and I’m working on a jail cell,” Jusiah said.

His mother says Jusiah is already feeding himself. Jusiah also wants to learn how to use a prosthetic arm. The 9-year-old is even thanking God for being alive today.

“I think the biggest challenge right now is… we don’t know when we’re going home,” Martinez said. “It’s a lot on a 9-year-old to have to be still and to have to be in one room.”

The family doesn’t know when they will come home, but say, it may take a couple more weeks. Jusiah’s family is hoping they can have a skin graft once doctors are able to save Jusiah’s leg and once the infections are cleaned out.

“I’m just very grateful that he’s taking it as well as he is,” Martinez said. “He loves to hear that people are praying for him. He gets so excited about it.”

Jusiah already has planned out what he will do, once he gets the green light from the hospital to go home.

“I’m going to have a big ‘Going Home’ party with my uncles at their house, and we’re going to celebrate me coming back home,” Jusiah said.

To all the people who have been and will continue to support Jusiah, he has this to say:

“I love you, and thank you for praying for me.”

The family says the most important thing right now is getting Jusiah a service dog. They are asking the public with help finding one. Anyone with information is asked to email Rob Tooke at rtooke@nexstar.tv. He will pass along the information to the family.

The family is also sharing a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses, the potential of a prosthetic arm, and the expected therapy Jusiah will need after he leaves the hospital. You can find that GoFundMe link here.

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