The reality of the coronavirus crisis may be grim, but there are plenty of stories that are inspiring and bring hope in these uncertain times. In Tennessee, for instance, a 6-year-old boy with a cystic fibrosis diagnosis is happily on the mend after contracting the novel coronavirus.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a cystic fibrosis diagnosis refers to an inherited disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system, and other organs in the body. The disease affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat, and digestive juices.
Under normal circumstances, these secreted fluids are thin and slippery. In a cystic fibrosis diagnosis however, the secretions become sticky and thick due to a defective gene.
The disease is progressive and daily care is required, but people with a cystic fibrosis diagnosis generally have a good quality of life, and are able to attend school and go to work.
And now they can survive a disease as life-threatening as COVID-19! Since cystic fibrosis primarily affects the lungs, 6-year-old Joseph Bostain is particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus infection. On March 19, his mother Sabrina posted the bad news on Facebook.
“Okay so I got the confirmed call from Vanderbilt today that Joseph is positive for COVID19! He has had fever and cough and is tired! He is immune compromised from his Cystic Fibrosis! Just say some prayers! The Health Department has already called and we are on a two week quarantine!” she wrote.
Sabrina pleaded with the public to heed social distancing and other guidelines to prevent spreading the disease, and asked for prayers for Joseph.
She stated, “I was told because I am immune compromised that I didn’t need to have direct contact with Joseph! We have wonderful care providers and most importantly we have a MIGHTY GOD!! Stay well and wash and sanitize and please if you are sick stay home and away from elderly and those who you know are immune compromised!!”
Sabrina regularly posted updates on Joseph’s two-week battle against the disease as she tracked fevers, coughs, and other symptoms.
On March 22, the Bostains were overwhelmed by the tremendous show of support from Joseph’s elementary school. His classmates and teachers did a drive-by parade and thoughtfully dropped off get well cards to help Joseph through his healing.
Sabrina wrote, “Oh my gracious!! Thank you East Montgomery Elementary friends and family for your beautiful parade by our home for Joseph! He was so excited and shocked to see so many that he froze! Thank you for the cards and balloons and the outpouring of love!! He is reading his cards out loud and having a heartfelt moment!!”
Soon enough, Sabrina shared that they were somewhat on their way back to their normal household routine, and thanked friends and family for their support.
“Joseph is doing great! We still have a small cough and some minor stomach issues but overall we have a happy, hungry, active young man that feels 95% better!” she wrote. “We will continue our quarantine here at home taking all the same precautions as we were even when our quarantine is up!”
Sabrina added, “I will continue to keep Joseph out of arms way from the public for a time so I know that he will remain healthy!”
The family then happily posted a video of Joseph, up and about, and looking well. “Today Joseph can tell you how he is doing himself!!” Wearing a Harry Potter shirt, Joseph said, “Thank you for all the cards and the prayers and the gifts.” He also excitedly declared, “I’m a cystic fibrosis warrior, and I beat COVID-19,” smiling happily and throwing his fist in the air after sharing the good news.
Underlying conditions such as respiratory illness, heart condition, and diabetes heighten the risk of contracting COVID-19. Joseph’s cystic fibrosis diagnosis coupled with the coronavirus infection was a scary combination, and made him one of the most high-risk people to contract the disease.
But Joseph pulled through despite the odds and is a bright ray of hope for others with similar vulnerabilities. With grit, determination, and the support of loved ones, Joseph is well on his way to a full recovery from COVID-19.
See Joseph’s proud message in the video below: