Family of Elberta firefighter fighting rare infection thanks community for support

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UPDATE (7/11/21): The family of Josh Hines, an Elberta firefighter who is battling multiple autoimmune diseases, has released a statement, thanking the community for their continued support.

The family thanks the community for their continued love and support. The Town of Elberta has surrounded Josh with love for the past few years when he was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Granulomatosis with polyangiitis. This disease led to kidney failure and the need for a kidney transplant.  Josh was diagnosed recently with another autoimmune disease. Josh has received amazing care at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Ga., for the past three months, but the disease has progressed to us just showering him with love. In the past few days, Josh has accepted hospice care to relieve his pain. We hoped to get Josh back to Elberta, but the best option was to allow friends and family to come see him here. The past few days have been hard, but the next few days will be harder. We know it has been a blessing to be able to have final conversation, hugs, laughs, and cries. We know most people don’t get the chance the Lord is giving us right now. We love you all, and thank you for your prayers. 

Family of Joshua 

Original story

ELBERTA, Ala. (WKRG) — An Elberta firefighter is fighting for his life after suffering from a rare disease.

Now the community is coming together.

WKRG News 5 has spoken with Josh Hines before.  He needed a kidney back in 2017 after suffering from a rare disease. 

He’s now been placed in hospice and the community rallying behind him again.  

The 30-year-old has been a volunteer firefighter with the Elberta Volunteer Fire Department for more than a decade.  His family and friends say he has a warrior’s spirit and is committed to being a firefighter.   

Hines was unable to get a kidney transplant and was still on dialysis when a new infection took over. Doctors in Georgia recently had to amputate both of his legs after a rare skin condition caused the infection.   

Now he’s been placed in hospice, and loved ones are asking for prayers. The fire department is now raising money to help with his medical bills. 

“We’re holding it together. We are a close department. This department is like a family. We get together multiple times a year just to spend time with each other. Josh was always the one that kept everybody laughing. It tough for everyone,” Elberta Fire Chief Nick Scheer said.

The fire department has an event scheduled on Aug. 7 to raise money. They are currently taking donations as well. Click here to donate.

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