In Loving Memory of Joshua Mark Weatherly
Joshua put up the fight of his life and had the opportunity to spend time with friends and family for another 6 months following his lung transplant. His fight came to an end on March 24, 2018, surrounded by his father Mark, myself and John. His passing was one of the hardest things we have encountered to date, but I know that he gave it all he had and I am so glad he is no longer in any pain. His memorial celebration was absolutely wonderful and so many people were in attendance to remember his life.
(Below are portraits captured of Joshua’s post-lung transplant scars. Viewer discretion advised.)
What are some interesting things about you?
I’m a 5’3” short guy who can stilt walk. I own and run my own production studio and am a consultant to start-up businesses. I love fall weather though I’m stuck with green trees all year long. My favorite drink is Coke Zero and I drink it like it’s going out of style.
What are some passions/hobbies you have?
I love photography or anything really media based. I have always had a love for technology and all the gadgets that are out there to make our lives easier and fun.
What is cystic fibrosis and how has it impacted your life?
Cystic Fibrosis or CF is an inherited genetic lung disease that causes build-up of mucus in the lining of the lungs. It also damages organs in the body including the pancreas, intestines and others. It over the years took away my lung function. My body was slowly suffocating me from the inside out. The past year or so it really hit my body hard when I couldn’t take a normal walk to my car from the house without being out of breath and needing to rest. I didn’t have the energy to do much. At this point I had been placed on oxygen so if I went anywhere I had to take a tank with me and lug it around. It was annoying. But on August 11, 2017 that all changed. I got a call around 2pm saying Shands has a lung match for me and to get to the hospital ASAP it was time to start a new life and get a lung transplant. 10 hours later on August 12, 2017 I woke up with a
new set of lungs and new outlook on life.
Can you explain a bit about the transplant process?
The transplant process is a long one. It started back for me in January when I was referred to Shands Hospital in Gainesville for evaluation. It was a week-long process of doctor appointments and testing to see if I would be a good candidate for lung transplant. Once I went through the testing all of my test results were looked over by a review board for a few weeks and was finally given the green light to be listed. I waited on the list for 4.5 months before getting my call for lungs.
How has your transplant changed your life so far?
It is weird when people ask how was it to take my first real deep breath. It’s something I can’t put words too. It’s not words, it’s a feeling, an emotion per say. Too be able to have this feeling inside your chest that you have really never been able to feel. To run, walk, even just sit in a seat and be out of breath…something that gets taken granted for and now that I can breathe that deep breath…. it’s something I will never take for granted but cherish for the rest of my life.
What are you plans for your future?
My plans for the future…. that’s an ever-evolving revolving door it seems. Many opportunities have been presented to me over the past few months for projects and shows. I currently am working for Walt Disney World and will go back very soon. But with a new life ahead of me, I am able to do more and have the energy to do more. So, bring on those projects, shows, ideas, and thoughts! I am here, I am not going anywhere, I’m here to fight, and enjoy every moment to the very end.