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Josh Cawley was 22 when he finally died from catastrophic injuries inflicted on him by his birth parents. These resulted in his inability to speak or to move from his wheelchair, but it didn't dampen his positive and cheeky spirit. This is his story.

This page takes around 8 minutes to read.

About Bounce Back Boy

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Josh was adopted by Lynn Cawley, a campaigning Methodist Minister whose devotion to Josh ensured that he lived his short life as positively and 'normally' as possible.

Lynn couldn't just be his loving mum though. She was expected to be his palliative care consultant, his nurse, his campaigner for compensation and she had to fight the ongoing battles with the system.

The play explores their real story: having to accept that Josh's needs were too 'complex' for the hospice; and dealing with Josh's transition from boy, to teenager to adult - and being his full-time interpreter.

Professional actor Joseph Daniel-Taylor performs the play and gives the voice to Josh - the voice that he never had.

What people said about the play

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"Your words for Josh will stay with me for a long time"

Fi Glover (BBC Radio 4 presenter and creator of 'The Listening Project')

"Outstanding and thoroughly thought provoking"

His Honour Judge John Altman

"I was moved to tears by this story"

Jeremy Flax (Lawyer)

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Watch the play

Bounce Back Boy explores the real story of Josh and his mother, the acceptance that Josh's needs were too 'complex' for the hospice, and dealing with Josh's transition from boy, to teenager to adult.

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Watch a Q&A with Josh's mum, Lynn

Josh's adoptive mother Lynn shares her view on how Josh's care could have been improved, with Dr Kate Lillie from the Royal College of Nursing's Pain and Palliative Care forum.

Educational resources

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The educational resources on this page accompany the Bounce Back Boy play and film. They provide a catalyst for learning from the lived experiences of Josh Cawley and his family. 

These resources enable facilitators and learners to work through Josh and his family's journey from their own perspective. They also help viewers consider the story in the light of their own roles and responsibilities and think about how they might make improvements to end of life care in practice.

Download the facilitator handbook

The Bounce Back Boy facilitator handbook is for a variety of people involved in end of life care.