Special treatment propels recovery for Tri-State toddler who nearly drowned

Boy announced dead-on-arrival making progress after drowning

BROWN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A Brown County toddler is making progress in his recovery six months after he was found in a pond and declared dead-on-arrival at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Joseph Murrell, 2, was found nearly drowned in a pond at his father’s Mt. Orab property in February.

Hope Bowman, the boy’s mother, says doctors told the family Joseph wasn’t going to make it the first night in the hospital.

Previously | Toddler found in Brown County pond fighting for his life

Joseph did make it through that night, but his injuries were extensive across his brain. He was blind and he couldn’t walk or move, Bowman said in April. “It’s just a parent’s worst nightmare,” she said. “Just pure agony. You can’t prepare for something like this.”

Months later, a series of hyperbaric oxygen treatments appears to have answered the family’s prayers. Bowman says Joseph’s vision has gotten better and he ’s also moving his arms and legs more.

“He is a miracle,” Bowman told FOX19 NOW Monday. “Joseph is a miracle.”

Hope says all the improvements she’s seen in Joseph have come following the oxygen treatments.

“He has tracked with his eyes, like, followed,” she explained. “He’s moving his arms and legs. He’s making more sounds now.”

Now Joseph returned to Cincinnati Children’s for regular physical and speech therapy.

Bowman says doctors still tell her they don’t know what Joseph’s future looks like.

“As a mom it kills you,” she said. “It’s a parent’s worst nightmare to go from having a perfect little baby to 24-hour caregiver and not knowing what the outcome will be.”

Bowman explains they are looking at other therapies for Joseph, who will turn 3 years old in November.

“Never in a million years did we think it was going to happen to us, and it did,” she recalled. “That day, I lost a part of me too.”

Bowman says she wants Joseph’s story to serve as a reminder to other parents to be careful and take precautions so their children don’t get away.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with the ongoing family’s medical expenses.

Copyright 2020 WXIX. All rights reserved.