Patient Spotlight: Meet This 11-Year-Old Author

August 23, 2019

Today, we’re celebrating 11-year-old author, Josiah, and his recently self-published book, “The Lizard’s Adventure with the Fly.” Josiah is an inspirational kiddo and MGA Homecare patient with a seemingly endless imagination. Naturally, we were wondering what inspired Josiah to write his children’s book, so we reached out to him and his mom, Melissa, to learn the story behind it and how the book came to be.

Telling stories isn’t for everyone, but for Josiah it seems to be second nature. At a young age, he has been able to captivate people through his stories and his daily interactions.

The Lizard's Adventure with the Fly Cover“Josiah worked on the writing portion of his book while he was in the hospital earlier this year,” said Melissa. “He used writing as a kind of distraction from everything else that was going on and was able to use his imagination to create something fun. When we came home from the hospital, his sister, Jireh, was able to help bring the book to life by illustrating the story.”

Creativity runs deep in this family. According to Melissa, the walls in Jireh’s bedroom are completely covered in her drawings which she displays proudly. When Josiah needed a little help with the illustrations for his story, he knew exactly who to turn to.

“My little sister, Jireh, is really creative,” shared Josiah. “While I was working on the book, I was having trouble with tools that would help me draw the pictures. The title page took two hours when I tried to do it on my own. I thought to myself, ‘there’s got to be a better way to do this.’ So, I asked Jireh if she wanted to help.”

When trying to learn a little bit more about his creative process, we asked Josiah what inspired his story about the lizard and the fly. When he’s not writing, Josiah is telling jokes, watching TV or playing video games – all adding to his creative library. His book concept originally came to him years ago, but he had never sat down to put it in writing, until now.

Lizard“The original idea was from a long time ago and I somehow remembered it,” recalled Josiah. “It was from when I was like six or something. We were coming home from somewhere; Jireh was tired and so I started telling her a bedtime story. I just kind of made it up as I was going and all these years later, I remembered it.”

While writing his story started as a fun and creative way to pass the time in the hospital, Josiah and Melissa decided to self-publish and print his book to help raise money for an off-road wheelchair.

“We’ve been looking for the perfect all-terrain chair for a while and when we finally found it, we thought selling Josiah’s story would be the perfect way to help raise money,” said Melissa. “Having the ability to go where everyone else goes is really important to Josiah. With this new chair, he’ll be able to participate more on the playground at school and we’ll be able to go adventure and explore more as a family.”

When asked if Josiah and Jireh were planning on continuing their creative partnership, Melissa shared a little bit about their ideas for upcoming projects.

“They’ve talked a little bit about a potential sequel to ‘The Lizard’s Adventure with the Fly’,” said Melissa. “But I think Josiah’s put more serious thought behind them working together to write and illustrate a joke book because he loves jokes so much.”

Josiah has some big fans here at MGA Homecare who can’t wait to see what he creates next.

“Josiah is one of the coolest kids I have ever worked with,” shared Caitlyn Spackeen, Josiah’s case manager. “He is so smart and is the type of kid who can accomplish anything he puts his mind to. His sense of humor is truly a gift and he is an inspiration to everyone he meets.”

We’d like to thank Josiah and Melissa for a behind-the-scenes look at how “The Lizard’s Adventure with the Fly” came to be. We can’t wait to see what Josiah and Jireh will come up with next.

Do you have an MGA kiddo with an awesome talent or a great story you’d like to share? Let us know on our Facebook page!