Parenting: man who puts everyone before himself gets something in return

Family of Joel Oustalet giving back
Posted at 3:30 AM, Feb 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-01 04:30:14-05

In September of 2021, Joel Oustalet was told to lay low, not go into his family's dealership, and eat healthy. This was only until he could get heart surgery scheduled.

Joel had a leak aortic valve, unfortunately doctors did not know how severe it was until the actual surgery. In November they found out that Joel had three more aneurysms on his widowmaker.

Joel went in for surgery--it is not something he wanted people to know about.

"He didn't want it out there," Jolie Oustalet-Picou, Joel's daughter, said. "He didn't want this to be a burden on us for people to constantly worry about our dad. We kept it pretty quiet and didn't let it get out."

Surgery went as expected, Joel came out and Jolie said all seemed like it was going to be okay.

A few days later, Jolie said the trauma from surgery caused both Joel's liver and kidneys to fail.

Today, her dad remains in the hospital fighting for his life.

"Right now, where he's at, is a level of conscience that's not of our world," Oustalet-Picou said. "He may hear our familiar voices but does not know doctors, nurses, or TV. They want us talking to him as many ours of the day that we can to keep the brain stimulated and going. He moves his arms and legs slightly and in the last few days he's opened his eyes for a few minutes or so. That's the response we've gotten at this point."

While this journey has not been an easy one, Oustalet-Picou said it has been full of teachable moments in more ways than this family could have ever imagined. Joel lost so much blood he was constantly needing blood transfusions. Since the surgery, Oustalet-Picou said her dad probably used 140 units of blood and platelets.

"One of the nurses said, I'm going to give blood when I leave here," Oustalet- Picou explained. "I asked her if she was going to give blood on his behalf, and she told me that we're actually responsible for refilling that. Then she went on to tell me how much blood he'd actually gone through."

This gave Oustalet-Picou and idea. She decided the dealership, Bubba Oustalet's, would host a blood drive. It would be something small, but a way to give back. What happened next was something this family will never forget.

"Immediately, when Life Share put it out there on that first Saturday, we had to turn our training room into a blood facility with four chairs back there. They already have 130 units of blood to fill it. Our friend, Ralph Sellers on airline in Baton Rouge is doing another blood drive from 11am to 6pm on February 4th. Our car dealer friends from across the country are reaching out to help as well and we gave them his donation number and the response has been incredible. It's unbelievable the love and support people have given us in this time of need."

For the man who puts others before himself, not wanting to make a fuss over his own struggles, Oustalet-Picou said she knows her dad will be proud of what they have been able to accomplish.

"He gives and gives and gives and never wants anything in return. He's going to be's been an unbelievable experience."

You can donate at any Lifeshare Facility, bus, Ochsner hospital or facility by using the Donor ID # 12749529.