Nine-month-old James “JJ” Brumbach Jr., from Victoria, developed a tuberculosis shortly after he was born and is still unable to breathe on his own. (Facebook/Shelly Hamilton)

Victoria baby ‘JJ’ fights tuberculosis in Vancouver hospital

Fundraiser starts as family spends countless nights in Vancouver hospital

The family of a nine-month-old Victoria baby struggling to survive tuberculosis seeks the help of their community.

James “JJ” Brumbach Jr. developed a lung illness shortly after he was born, and at only nine months old has spent most of his life in a hospital room. At first, doctors thought JJ had pneumonia, but soon discovered that he had been exposed to tuberculosis. The infection had badly damaged the little boy’s lungs and spread to his spleen and throat.

READ ALSO: Island Health confirms one case of tuberculosis in Victoria

The prognosis was, at first, unclear. The family said doctors told them “all that was left for little JJ was suffering.”

“Baby JJ’s tiny body at the time was rejecting the medications and they couldn’t find a cure,” says the fundraising page started by JJ’s cousin, Shelly Hamilton.

Baby JJ remains at the BC Children’s Hospital where he is receiving medication and help breathing. The nine-month-old’s family is asking for the community’s support as little JJ fights to survive tuberculosis. (Facebook/Shelly Hamilton)

But the prognosis improved when JJ went to the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver to see a specialist on Aug. 18. And although he is now on the correct medications, baby JJ cannot breathe on his own and requires constant hospitalization for lesions in his throat and swollen lymph nodes crushing his lungs.

Hamilton became tearful as she described her tiny cousin’s breathing as “laboured and forceful.” She said that JJ’s grandmother, Erica Tom, hasn’t left the baby’s side in Vancouver, and, unable to work, is now at risk of losing her home. That’s why Hamilton started a Facebook fundraiser to help the family.

“I have a baby of my own and I look at him and I could never imagine him being sick like that,” she said in a phone call with Black Press Media. “That’s why I’m hoping everyone can come together for JJ’s family and his grandma who’s been there sacrificing everything she can…and to give her some hope.”

READ ALSO: Victoria landmarks to glow red in honour of World Tuberculosis Day

“His family wants nothing more than to bring a healthy baby boy home who deserves all the love and affection he needs to grow into a strong young man we know he will become,” Hamilton wrote in the fundraising group.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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