Joshua Huss was the kind of kid who always wore a smile, despite being wheelchair-bound and having lung issues from birth that necessitated a tracheotomy.
Joshua was a brave old soul. He loved old cartoons, VHS tapes and old video games… loved to make people laugh. He was born at 36 weeks due to placental abruption… suffered a birth injury and struggled to breathe every day of life.Gail Huss
His favorite toy was a stuffed monkey who also wore a trach.
Josh got Trach Monkey from a family friend when he was in the hospital from having his right lung removed. To pass the time and for some fun, we set up the OR and inserted one of Josh’s extra trachs into Monkey. That’s how Trach Monkey came to be.Gail Huss
Just this past January, shortly before his seventeenth birthday, the ever-smiling Joshua Huss passed away.
Once Josh was gone I used Trach Monkey as a comfort item. We took him on a celebration of life trip and took pics with him in Disney World.Gail Huss
The Beam Family
When Gail found out her friends Charlie and Leslie Beam, along with their five-year-old daughter Josie, were headed on a cross-country trip from North Carolina to California’s Disneyland, she asked them to take Josh’s Trach Monkey with them. Josh loved adventures. Through Trach Monkey, Josh would get to visit some of the places he’d wanted to go.
When Gail asked me to take Trach Monkey on our trip, I didn’t hesitate at all. I have been friends with Gail since we were Josie’s age. Seeing her care for Josh always inspired me to be the best mom I can be.Leslie Beam
Trach Monkey’s Winslow Visit
Leslie and Charlie Beam are huge Eagles fans. Several years ago, when Charlie was heading to Las Vegas for a bowling tournament, he stopped in Winslow to stand on a corner and sent a picture to Leslie. Needless to say, she was jealous.
On their way to Disneyland, Winslow was a must stop, not only so Leslie could see this tribute to her favorite band, but to also stand on the corner with Josh’s Trach Monkey.
The corner isn’t the only place the monkey has been so far. They’ve stopped at Graceland, the Painted Desert, and will now be moving onto the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and of course…
So many friends have been following this trip. Trach Monkey has a fan club. We all miss Josh and his beautiful smile and his ability to smile even on the worst of days. The Beams taking him on this trip allows us to fulfill Josh’s dream of traveling to Disneyland.Gail Huss
In addition to Josh’s interest in adventure and in spreading joy…
He loved all things Disney. While he got to see Disney World, he never got to see Disneyland in Anaheim California.
… when Leslie announced their trip I thought it would be a great thing to give my husband for Father’s Day, his first without Josh.Gail Huss
Thanks to the Beam family, a little part of Josh will step onto the grounds of the Happiest Place on Earth.
His passing was hard on all that knew him. Taking Trach Monkey with us is like having a little piece of Josh’s soul with us. I feel his presence here with us, and I know he is smiling down on us! We hope that this trip teaches Josie compassion for others and to never take anything in life for granted.Leslie Beam
- The Beams will be posting on their Facebook page
- On Leslie’s Instagram Page
- And also the Beams YouTube channel. Below you’ll find a little snippet of their introduction to Trach Monkey.
- And Josh’s Journey Facebook Page
Thanks so much to the Beam Family and to Gail Huss for sharing their story. Spend your day smiling like Josh and spreading joy.
Until next time…