MiamiHerald / Joshua Jacob (JJ) Gonzalez came to the attention of the Miami Herald Wish Book team at only 20-months old. He was born with a rare genetic disorder called X-linked myotubular myopathy that causes such severe muscle weakness that those born with the condition miss the motor-skill milestones that mark a newborn’s development.

The Miami toddler sleeps amid a plethora of medical devices near his crib just to keep him alive. A ventilator provides air through a hole in his throat so that he can breathe. A suction machine keeps his airway clear.

Hurricane Irma tore holes in the roof of the family home in Miami’s Fontainebleau neighborhood. The threat of mold could further compromise JJ’s breathing.


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