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Let’s give Joe a Christmas to remember!

Created on 06/12/2021 @ 07:42


The friends and family of a tenacious 17-year-old are urging the Welshpool area to show their Christmas spirit and help to make 2022 a special year.

Joseph Pugh has been battling complex health issues since he was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at birth, but it hasn’t stopped the teenager from winning over the hearts of the town with his incredible positivity and courage.

The past few months have been particularly challenging for young Joe, and his parents Russell and Hayley, but he keeps bouncing back and facing each major health challenge head on.

And now, a crowd funder has been launched to raise money to organise something special for the family to look forward to.

Cheryl McIntyre, who is organising the fundraiser with Sharon Morris, said: “Joe has recently spent his 17th birthday in a hospital bed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Sadly for Joe, a hospital room is an all too familiar environment for him as throughout his 17 years he has spent too many days and long periods of time undergoing tests, treatments and surgeries to manage his complex health issues.

“The many people that have the privilege of knowing Joe and his parents will also know of the barriers and the challenges that they have faced and overcome.

“The emotional rollercoaster journey that they have endured, as you can imagine has on times has been completely overwhelming. Their continued strength and courage to face whatever is thrown at them is truly humbling.”

At just a few weeks old, Joe underwent his first of many complex surgeries and this has been followed by years of ongoing treatments, surgeries and endless appointments.

In 2016, Joe underwent a kidney transplant, with his dad donating his own kidney.

Once again, Joe had to endure months in hospital, often in isolation as he battled to overcome unexpected complications and numerous infections.

“Joe dealt with life changing circumstances, whilst all this time missing out on so many opportunities that as parents we take for granted for our children,” said Cheryl.

“In recent months Joe has unfortunately experienced a further decline in his health. He has spent the last 10 weeks in hospital undergoing more tests, surgeries and dialysis.

“Unfortunately Joe has now been diagnosed with liver failure, he is critically ill and is awaiting a liver transplant.

As you can imagine, as a family, they have experienced feelings beyond despair and are fearful of what their future holds. To say that Joe, Hayley and Russ have a long hard journey ahead of them is an understatement as Joe faces yet another battle and a long recovery process.

“I cannot put into words the admiration I have for Joe. He continues to show such bravery and strength in all he endures and with each passing day he is learning to take it in his stride as he faces and overcomes his own fears and anxieties.”

Cheryl sad that the fund raiser is a way for the community to show their support to the family and hop that enough can be raised for a holiday, or a weekend away when Joe is fit enough to travel.

She also said that they hope to purchase something for Joe’s games room to keep him entertained as he spends many months ahead confined to home during his recovery.

If you would like to show your support, visit Joe's fundraiser.


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