Corner Stories

Trach Monkey on the Corner for Josh

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 Huss as a baby

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
The Huss Family

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
Trach Monkey with Glen Frey Statue in Winslow Arizona

Just this past January, shortly before his seventeenth birthday, the ever-smiling Joshua Huss passed away.

Josh holding baby

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
Trach monkey at Disney World

The Beam Family

When Gail found out their friends Charlie, Leslie, and Josie Beam (5) were headed on a cross country trip from North Carolina to California and ultimately to 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.

Beam Family at the Painted Desert with Trach Monkey

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.

Beam Family Standing on a Corner in Winslow Arizona

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.

Trach Monkey sitting on the shoulder of Jackson Browne statue in Winslow Arizona.

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…

Disneyland

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…

Josh with Keith Urban
Josh meeting Keith Urban in Nashville on a Make A Wish trip.

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
Beam Family standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona.

Follow Along

Thanks so much to the Beam Family and to Gail Huss for sharing their story. Spend your day smiling like Josh and spreading joy.

Family photo with Josh

Until next time…

Take it Easy


New to Winslow.Town? Check out this link!

Never want to miss a post? Subscribe for free!

2 Comments

  • Charlie Beam

    Lori,

    It was such a pleasure meeting you today. Thank you so much for sharing Trach Monkey’s journey. This whole experience has been overwhelming for us in the most fantastic way.

    Charlie Beam

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *