Popular youngster fundraising for IWK

Carla Allen
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He’s bright, polite and has endured far more than most other children have since his birth eight-and-a-half years ago.

Joshua Cochrane from Yarmouth is also fashion conscious. Today he’s worn a purple shirt, striped tie and dress pants.

“He wanted to look nice for the interview,” said his mother, Ann Harrington.

Josh is excited about being chosen as one of this year’s feature story children for the IWK children’s hospital telethon. Just this past year the IWK saved his life.

Before he’d reached the age of two, Josh was diagnosed with Autism and Hypotonia (Low Muscle Tone).

He spent his first year sleeping in a recliner chair to prevent his airways from collapsing.

“Twice we found him and he was really cold and gray,” said his mom.

Physio work continued to help build his muscle strength. Although he couldn’t talk, he could sing.  

Kidzact founder and dance instructor Deanna McCarron began to work with him, incorporating dance moves into his physio. He started taking his first steps in her dance class.

“We didn’t put him in performances for the first little while, we just used it as therapy,” said Harrington.

When he was four, Josh won first place in the CJLS Tri-County Talent Search. He won it twice again in following years. He became a member of Th’YARC Strolling Carolers, a fundraising group. He’s now rehearsing a lead role for the July performance of Evangeline at the Maurice LeBlanc theatre in Tusket.

Last year, the family went through some tough medical challenges. Josh became extremely ill with temperatures hitting 106.  He was diagnosed with Complicated Kawasaki Disease, juvenile arthritis and malformation of teeth. This caused infections, impaction, loss of teeth and severe mouth pain while eating.

While being treated for the Kawasaki Disease, meningitis developed. Morphine relieved the pain but his blood pressure dropped dangerously low, causing treatment time to be extended. The process slowed because his body could not handle the IV infusion rate.

Josh continues to have weak muscles, dental and foot problems. Visits to the IWK are still necessary for echocardiograms to keep up with the Kawasaki Disease. Genetic testing is next on the agenda.

Academics however, are no problem at all for him.

“Yesterday the teacher sent him home with 10 pages of math because he had fallen behind having gone to the IWK,” said his mother.

“He finished all 10 within an hour. There’s no problem keeping up.”

Josh wants to give back to the IWK for the care he’s received in the past and will continue to receive in the future. Click here to go to his fundraising page.

Organizations: Maurice LeBlanc theatre

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Tusket

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