Meet CF patient Josie Gibbs

Josie Gibbs, age 5

Josie Gibbs, age 5

Five-year-old Josie Gibbs has cystic fibrosis. She lives in New Philadelphia, Ohio, with her parents, Missy and Kirbi, her 8 year-old sister, Bella, and Nuggie, their puppy.

Josie just finished preschool at Carousel Kids Preschool, and this fall she will attend kindergarten at Central Elementary. Josie is excited about meeting new friends. She likes to ride her scooter and bike and take dance class (lyrical).

Recently, Josie performed in a recital at the Tuscarawas branch of the Kent State University Performing Arts Center.

At the young age of 5, Josie has to take a number of medications to treat her cystic fibrosis, including enzymes, pre-vacid, flovent, albuterol, salt water, pulmozyme, vitamins, flonase and vest. She admitted that she doesn't like the sound of her nebulizer.

Josie's family helps her deal with this noise by turning up the TV and letting her pick a movie or TV show she wants to watch during vest/nebulizer time. When she first got her vest, she screamed because she didn't want it on. Josie does her last treatment at bedtime, and it seems to put her to sleep. Her parents report they are “freaks about doing all treatments and not skipping treatments.”

Many of the Gibbs' friends have small kids who have become very good friends with Josie and her family since her diagnosis of CF. Their friends have learned not to come over if their kids are sick. Family is also very supportive.

Finding out early that Josie has CF helped. She was diagnosed at 7 weeks of age due to a random check by the State of Ohio. 

Josie has had a gastrostomy tube, also known as a g-tube or surgically inserted feeding tube, since she was 16 months old as a result of her failure to thrive. She was not eating well, and eating was such a struggle and stressor. Her mother remembers that every meal was stressful and ended in “my being in tears every time.”

Although Josie still has a g-tube, she doesn't use it now because she's done so well.

Publication: Other

This article was written by CF Center social worker, Michele Mizda.

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