Miami teen that’s been hospitalized from the flu goes home, put on hospice care

19-year-old Josiah Swenson had been in hospital since February

MIAMI, Okla. – In February, 19-year-old Josiah Swenson was taken to the hospital, diagnosed with Influenza B.

That was right after his 20-year-old sister Kayauna died from complications from Influenza B.

Last week, Josiah discharged.

“He had a delirium when he was in the hospital, and so that kind of delayed us bringing him home. They had planned on him discharging, and then he got really confused and there was some questions about why he was having the delirium. But finally, he got clear, and they transported him [home] by ambulance,” says Charity Freeman, Josiah’s mom.

“But last time that they went in, Doctor V did not feel like Josiah’s gonna have a good outcome. And he told Josiah that he may only have a few months to live.”

According to Freeman, Josiah’s doctors say the infection isn’t clearning up.

Josiah is now on hospice care.

“You know, we’re trying to be as positive as we can. I mean, they’ve said that before. We had surgeons at the hospital tell us that they were out of steps. So, it is still possible that the infection will clear up.” says Freeman. “I waited until I was able to see him in person to explain to him why we chose to take the hospice services out. ‘Cause I didn’t want him to think, you know, ‘Oh, it’s because we really think you’re not gonna be here in six months.’ I told him it’s because then you can get better care and more services that way. I mean, that’s the whole reason we’re doing it.”

Now that he’s home, they are doing a lot to prevent other diseases, including COVID-19, because his immune system is still very compromised. All family members wear masks when they’re around him, he only has one hospice nurse come at a time, and visitors are pretty limited.

“That was one of the reasons one of the doctors wanted to try to get him out of the hospital. To get him away from… to keep him protected. So I figured bringing him home was probably the best way to try to do that,” says Freeman.

Even with everything that’s going on Freeman says that Josiah is doing well and enjoying finally being home.

“He’s able to go out in the yard. We’ve got a wheelchair and I bought a wheelchair ramp. So we take him out to different places that he’s able to get food at. I think the food has been a big thing… he’s been eating a lot. And he’s been sitting up more since his sister Elora’s been here,” says Freeman.

So they’re gonna keep fighting… believing that Josiah will get through this like everything else.