Thursday, June 21, 2018
News Roundup

Despite cystic fibrosis, Scott Hosfeld led fun-filled life

BROOKSVILLE — His favorite place to be: suspended in the air, stomach rising as he looked through the mud-splattered windshield of his father's pickup, waiting for the cushioned crash.

You couldn't keep Scott Hosfeld away from events with names like Hog Waller and Horse Hole, destinations known to serious mudders, which certainly included Scott, his parents and his three siblings.

"If he knew there was one going on, he would beg to go," said Heather Hosfeld, Scott's mother.

Darrin Hosfeld, a roofing supervisor, drove his family to the weekend escapes in an elegant motor coach, behind which he towed a red Chevy S-10 with 50-inch tractor tires and an ATV Scott had been driving since about as long as he could walk.

In recent years, his parents had to strap a tank containing pure oxygen onto the frame of the four-wheeler, since it was pretty clear the boy needed both to live.

Cystic fibrosis had slowed him down since birth, thickening his lungs with excess mucous secretions.

His parents hoped Scott would be able to get a new set of lungs someday soon. That's why the second-grader at Brooksville Elementary had been living at Shands at the University of Florida, the Gainesville hospital, the past two months, in case donor lungs should suddenly be ready.

Though he didn't have nearly the energy of other children his age, Scott was usually the most chipper presence in any room. An ideal evening consisted of watching SpongeBob or Duck Dynasty while downing as much Mountain Dew as his mother would let him drink.

But he usually had to watch as other children played. When walking got to be too much, his parents carried him or pushed him in a stroller, a thin oxygen hose running to his nostrils.

Scott Michael Lee Hosfeld was born in Spring Hill in 2005, only because the nearest hospital was located there. The youngest of four children, he was Brooksville to the bone, a fan of country music and the pine trees and woods right outside his house.

Heather Hosfeld works as a secretary at Foster's Roofing with her husband. Scott's brother, Darrin II, 12, also has cystic fibrosis. But his isn't as bad.

Cystic fibrosis results from an overproduction of mucus from the exocrine glands, coating the lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines and sinuses, often subjecting anyone who has it to bacteria and subsequent infection. Approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States have the genetic illness.

Doctors knew Scott had respiratory problems within three days of his birth. His right lung functioned at just 10 percent; his left lung at 60 to 70 percent.

The illness worsened, but Scott never let anyone around him get too depressed about it.

"If he saw me crying, he'd say, 'Mommy, don't be crying,' " said Heather Hosfeld, 33. "I can't remember the last time he cried real tears."

In September, Scott moved to All Children's Hospital, around the same time he got on a lung transplant list. He moved to Shands several weeks later.

When nurses asked if he needed anything, he asked if they would rub his back or his feet.

"They would do it," his mother said. "Even the ones you wouldn't think would do it, they did it. He just had this way with them."

When asked what he wanted for Christmas, he asked for new lungs.

But getting healthy, child-sized lungs when you need them is difficult. Only 1 in every 5 donors can supply a viable set of lungs, and the ventilators used to keep donors alive have been correlated with high rates of pneumonia.

Scott's mother warned him that a lung transplant would likely leave scar tissue.

"He said, 'That would be the favorite scar I would ever have.' "

After a couple of false starts, the Hosfelds learned three weeks ago about a new child donor without the obvious warning signs. Perhaps Scott finally had a match. If so, it would come in the nick of time. Scott was getting so little oxygen to his brain, it was affecting his alertness and ability to remember. Scott was dying.

Because the new lungs looked promising, a team of cardiothoracic surgeons from Shands flew to New York state to examine them.

Meanwhile, his parents couldn't sleep. They stayed up nearly 24 hours waiting for the results.

The call came at 4 a.m. on a Saturday. The donor lungs contained infected secretions and were unsuitable. "It was awful," Heather Hosfeld said. "It was a very long emotional roller coaster."

Scott died Saturday at Shands. He was 8.

"He always promised me, 'Mommy, I will never give up, I promise you I will never give up,' " his mother said. "He truly never did give up. He fought until he could not fight anymore."

Andrew Meacham can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 892-2248.

Comments
Thirteen bald eagles were found dead in a field. This is what killed them.

Thirteen bald eagles were found dead in a field. This is what killed them.

The 13 bald eagles were found lifeless on a Maryland farm more than two years ago, many with wings splayed, bodies intact, and talons clenched. Several were too young to have their species’ distinctive white heads. And at least six, according to a fe...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Reports: Man, 22, arrested in connection with death of rapper XXXTentacion

Reports: Man, 22, arrested in connection with death of rapper XXXTentacion

A suspect was arrested Wednesday evening in connection to the fatal shooting of Broward County rapper XXXTentacion, according to broadcast reports.According to Miami TV station WSVN, 22-year-old Dedrick Williams was arrested around 7 p.m.RELATED:XXXT...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Tesla sued a former employee Wednesday, accusing the man of hacking the automaker’s computer systems and stealing company secrets, shedding light on what chief Elon Musk had suggested was the work of a secretive internal saboteur.But the employee, Ma...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-North Suncoast girls basketball team

Tampa Bay Times’ all-North Suncoast girls basketball team

North Suncoast Player of the Year: India Lewis, Sr., FivayFirst teamG Jayde Doucette, Sr., River RidgeG Reagan Huden, Sr., SpringsteadF Andrea Wallace, Sr., SunlakeG/F Ices Utegg, So., River RidgeF/C Seytia Hill, Jr., Weeki WacheeSecond teamG Lyndsey...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Brandon man held on $750,000 bail, accused of 100 counts of child pornography

Brandon man held on $750,000 bail, accused of 100 counts of child pornography

A Brandon man has been charged with 100 counts of possession of child pornography after deputies discovered more than 100 images of child pornography on his computer, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Troi Amacher, 29, was arreste...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: When will we know about possible Jameis Winston suspension?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: When will we know about possible Jameis Winston suspension?

Rick Stroud talks about when we will know about a possible Jameis Winston suspension and why DeSean Jackson hasn't been more productive with the Bucs on today's podcast.Plus, who might the Rays trade next? Will the Lightning make any b...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

ORLANDO — Florida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement Thursda...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Days after buying Time Warner, AT&T launches new TV service

Days after buying Time Warner, AT&T launches new TV service

NEW YORK — AT&T is launching a new streaming service incorporating television networks from the Time Warner company it just bought. The WatchTV service, a cable-like package of more than 30 TV channels delivered over the internet, is an example of th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pasco deputies searching for missing Holiday autistic teen

Pasco deputies searching for missing Holiday autistic teen

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a missing autistic boy who walked out of his Holiday residence Wednesday night.Jordan Webb, 16, left his home at 2522 Wood Pointe in Holiday around 11 p.m. He was last seen wearing a black Carolina P...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

WOODSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, has died.The Gorilla Foundation says the 46-year-old western lowland gorilla died in its sleep at the foundation’s preserve in California’s Sana Cruz mountains on Tuesday.Koko was ...
Updated: 2 hours ago