What a Difference a Day Makes

By Charlie Johnston

Well, things have turned around rather dramatically. First, there is a temporary restraining order (TRO) in place to prevent the removal of life support from Joey Cronin until he can be transferred. All is moving smoothly in the arrangements to get him to Houston’s HealthBridge.

Most amazingly, Joey has shown critical signs of life. Small, but medically compelling. He was biting on his feeding tube. It is enough that now there is no talk of declaring him brain dead – and that Driscoll is going to perform surgery tomorrow – a tracheostomy to repair his throat so he can breathe independently without doing damage to the throat and a procedure to facilitate his feeding. So please pray for him during that surgery in the morning.

I thank all of you for having been largely courteous in your calls to Driscoll Hospital. I got angry and frustrated, too, in the heat of battle. Most of the times I was at my worst, I did not post for fear of making things worse…and I was making and receiving a lot of calls throughout. I think an important thing to remember is that Driscoll was not the cause of this situation, but is instead a symptom of where we have arrived. They exercised a lot of what are now standard medical protocols. Alas, we really have to take a hard look at whether those protocols are genuinely giving medical professionals information, or whether they are just props to justify premature declarations of death. Certainly, when Joey started showing important and genuine signs of independent life, the family tells me the people at the hospital entirely changed their outlook to one of helping treat the boy. This could have happened at almost any hospital in America today except some religiously affiliated ones that actually take that religious affiliation seriously. As the comic character, Pogo, once famously said, “We have met the enemy – and he is us.” It is a change of heart in our culture and faith that is necessary to put an end to the sort of assumptions that make crises like these possible. I am proud that readers here were such steadfast soldiers in engaging that enemy.

Amazingly, I only deleted two comments throughout the whole process. One was from an avowed “Satanist” who taunted in the worst way and wished death on Joey. The other was from the fellow who accused me of propaganda originally and returned to make another content-free accusation of the same.

I will update on any critical changes – good or bad – until all is fully resolved. Meantime, I am in transit back to Denver tomorrow, have a prayer meeting tomorrow night – and hope to be on a more normal schedule again come Sunday. But not to fear, you will continue to be updated on the progress of Joey Cronin. I told his Dad, George, about an hour ago, that I hoped he and Susan would get a good night’s sleep tonight. He said he doubted it…so I chuckled and said I hoped, then, that they would get a bad night’s sleep – just so long as actual sleep is involved. He chuckled and again sent his thanks to you for your help, saying he did not see how we could have gotten here without it.

Onward Christian Soldiers!

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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38 Responses to What a Difference a Day Makes

  1. Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

    Well done, good and faithful servant, Charlie, and all who helped.

    During this, I was thinking of the story of the little boy on the seashore, who goes along picking up and casting some of the a myriad of stranded starfish back in the sea. An adult comments, “There are so many. You can’t save them all.” “Yes,” replies the boy bending down and tossing another one back in the ocean, “but I can save this one.” The Lord allowed us to help save this one from man-made death.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

    Also, it seems to me the good will of so many people shone forth in this situation, and for future reference, would you allow, Charlie, for the readers here to post which media helped publicize the information? Those outlets that did not may have valid reasons, but in a crisis, knowing who was willing to go the extra mile and draw attention to the Cronin’s plight are allies that, it seems to me, deserve to be noted. I myself know of two outlets that generously responded.

    As you have mentioned, there may come a time when those whom we expect to be allies may falter, and others unexpectedly may become so. It is possible, as another reader mentioned in a thread, that this has been a “practice run” showing forth what is in men’s hearts. I would not want to know of outlets that could not or did not run the story, for as I said, they may well have had valid reasons we know not of. But I, for one, would like to know those who did.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Oh please do, Monica. I hated that I was so completely engaged in the effort, both here and behind the scenes, that I was not able to take the time to acknowledge all. So please, note who stepped up when it was on the line.

      Like

      • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

        Ok, the two I saw for sure that publicized the story and even linked back to your website were as follows:

        1. Regina Magazine on their Facebook feed (their publisher lives in Europe with almost 11,000 “Likes” on their page — actually, it is a beautiful, free online magazine I am merely a reader of)

        2. ChurchMilitant.TV posted on their Facebook Feed the post about the horrific news, as well as being grateful for and allowing the post with the good news update in their comments’ section. I saw some of your other readers post on their page.

        Those are my two for now!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Patricia says:

    Thanks be to God.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bob says:

    And I do believe, that until, with God’s help structural change can occur our best duty is to save one at a time in any way both humanly and spiritually are given to do so.

    Like

  5. Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

    As a result of the fatigue of these last days, Charlie, you may not want to open the heavy discussion of “brain death” here and now, so please feel free to defer this, forever if you deem. But, if you will allow the discussion to begin, I would love to add my two cents worth, as this is a subject I am passionate about, because it seems there is so much propaganda involved instead of a clear, sobering discussion of the situation. And, it seems to me, it is an urgent discussion to have, as young Joe Cronin is not the only one to be facing this behemoth.

    I had been somewhat bemused by the whole concept of “brain death” going back more than thirty years now. At that time, I had a discussion with one of my younger brother’s friends who worked in a lab with something to do with transplant organs about how a person’s brain stem could function but supposedly the person was dead. He tried to explain that, well, if only the brain stem functions, it is really only a matter of reflexes, like a frog’s. I still insisted, ” ‘Brain stem’ still has the word ‘brain’ in it — if it functions, then there is still brain activity, even if ‘primitive’.” Now, I tend to simplify to aid my understanding. But, to me, the principle was that, no matter how much one wishes it, someone with brain stem function still has a functioning brain at some level, so these “brain dead” people are not corpses, ie not dead. Conversely, no matter how much you want to keep someone alive, if you hook up a corpse in the morgue to a ventilator or feeding tube, you will still not be able to resuscitate it. I have since learned a bit more, and here is the bottom line: “brain death” was developed so that living organs could be “harvested” (hate that word). Apparently, organs from dead people can’t be transplanted. (Corneas can, I believe.) There is a growing outcry from family members of those whose organs were harvested and now regret it. They saw the results to their loved ones. Parents spoke of seeing a warm, pink-skinned young adult go in for the organ removal, and then seeing the body later, cold and pale, and yes, mutilated, and realized that their child had not been dead, “brain death” label notwithstanding, but died in a cold operating room from the removal of vital, unpaired organs. Add to that the testimony of those who have “woken up” from even decades-long comas, who can tell what was discussed around them, including their proposed deaths, and it seems clear that these admittedly severely injured people are still not “dead.”

    Not to make this too long, and I admit I am a layperson in this, but what solidified the fallacy of brain death for me was I reasoned (or maybe read) that no machine is keeping a “brain dead ” (which, depending on the geographic state you live in, has differing definitions!) person alive, because that person’s million of cells each individually must be carrying on respiration, absorbing nutrients, etc. The majority of cells must be doing that, or the body would be a corpse. The ventilator, for instance, helps move air in and out of the lungs, (just like an Ace bandage supports a sprained ankle in walking) but it cannot keep an individual cell alive, exchanging its carbon dioxide for oxygen, heck, producing the carbon dioxide etc. There are millions of cells in a body! No machine has the capability to act for them all each individually, intra-cellular, unless I really missed something in basic biology (which is possible!)

    Dr. Paul Byrne is the gold standard on this. He has been the voice crying in the wilderness, and I believe one worth seriously listening to.

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you, Monica. Yes, this is a discussion we must have – but you are right, I am wrung out right now. I will do a simple column (maybe) tomorrow…and be back at it next week. Glad you mentioned Dr. Paul Byrne. I spoke with him the other day when someone referred him in and asked me to pass his contact info on to the parents. He has become part of the team on behalf of the Cronins. We will cover this next week.

      Like

      • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

        Aaagggh..Charlie, could you please edit my post? I would if there were an “edit” button. I was too graphic in my description of a body post-organ removal, especially in using the word “mutilated.” Please strike that word; you can even table the whole post or chunks of it for now if you don’t have time to edit it . For, while that word is how I have read at least one mother viewed her son’s remains, I didn’t consider enough that you could have some readers who have been involved in organ transplants with good will. Such a description could well be traumatizing, and I don’t have the right to do that to someone. Furthermore, my graphic description could be a distraction from the main purpose of you blog. I should have been more dispassionately passionate in my language. I am sorry.

        After this last week, you had to be so tired while moderating submissions. It was too long a post. Organ transplantation is a complex issue. While I firmly believe in what I wrote, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking being too graphic in my description was sort of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory; on a thread celebrating the good news about Joe Cronin, I introduced a “rabbit hole.” I am genuinely sorry and don’t want to cause or have caused any trouble, distraction, or hurt.

        Liked by 2 people

        • charliej373 says:

          No, you didn’t distract…you gently but firmly raised the issue that we are going to confront here. And the use of the word “mutilated” is hardly “X” rated…it is not even an “R” In fact, it is on the borderline of G and PG-13. You must be a truly gentle soul to think that is graphic. I look forward to recovering from exhaustion and dealing with this most serious topic – and I think Dr. Paul Byrne may have some important information to add to that discussion.

          Liked by 2 people

        • narnialion54 says:

          Monica
          I hope you don’t mind, but I have forwarded your comment to a small group that I have been emailing about Joey Cronin. I am a former ICU nurse and saw a number of comatose patients on ventilators come back to thank us weeks and months later. I think your contribution here is immense and well informed. Thank you for sharing.

          Like

          • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

            Charlie and narnia,
            Thanks. Your words soothed my dismay. Realizing that I am not a health care professional, I worried maybe I had overstepped my bounds.
            And yes, Charlie, I don’t know if I am a gentle soul, but I cannot see “R” rated movies because of the violence, and barely even a PG-13, so it is funny that was the example you used!

            Like

  6. Michelle says:

    Acknowledge God; take the next right step; and be a sign of hope to those around you. This is a good example of how it’s done. Thank you, Lord and thank you, Charlie.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Acker Family says:

    What a beautiful thing! Each and everyone one of us who came together in prayer, supplication and action during the last few days is truly the work of God….all praise, honor and glory to HIM! I am so very grateful to be a part of the Body of Christ! Thank you brothers and sisters! And, God bless Joey Cronin and his family!
    Martha

    Like

  8. Mary-Louise says:

    Michael Brown posted a prayer request for “baby Cronin” on his Spirit Daily website. I’ve emailed him the follow-up information in hopes he will write something more.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Fran says:

    I don’t mean to turn the focus away from the Cronin family with this comment, but there is just something I would like to share, because the sense of relief I feel for the parents of Joe, and awe of God for this miracle have me choked up with emotion. My son, when he was about 14, was seriously ill with a particularly nasty strain of bacteria that began to destroy his red blood cells. We were told he might have permanent damage to the brain, or organs or even die. There was no treatment just support. His body alone had to fight it. We too, were overwhelmed, and profoundly grateful for the many, many prayers, and help from people all over the country, and even other countries! Our son never needed intensive care and made a complete, (and as far as I am concerned- miraculous) recovery. I think part of the reason for all this emotion is that my heart is just so full, and I am immensely grateful to God for this hopeful news about Joey that has happened so far for his family. Joey is responding! Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you for sharing that, Fran. Over the last few days, we have lived the communion of the faithful well – Church Militant and Church Triumphant, working together, arm in arm. God does not leave us without recourse to him. Yours is a story that is a sign of hope. Oh, may Joey Cronin’s fully become a sign of hope, as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. quisp511 says:

    Thanks be to God! And may He continue to shine the light if His face on the Cronins! Through it I prayed often, though I felt inadequate for the task. Joe still has a long road ahead of him, so the prayers will continue. Blessings to all the Christian soldiers!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Marguerite Rose says:

    Thanks be to God! All glory, praise and thanksgiving to the God in whom we trust! Thanks, too, to you, Charlie, for leading the charge, and all who helped in large ways and small. The evil one tried to get me to believe that my one small voice on the canadian prairies was next to useless, but I, too, thought of the boy on the seashore throwing back the starfish, and hoped one small voice thousands of miles away could make a bit of a difference. It’s a matter of trust. Prayer is NOT a small thing, but huge! Now I fully expect retribution, and so I plan to take refuge under our Lady’s mantle. She has helped before, and I am so grateful.

    I had to smile a bit through my tears at the thought of young Joe biting his feeding tube. Maybe he’s trying to say, *get this thing out of me, and give me a burger*! I pray the Cronin family gets some rest, and you too Charlie.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. elizmeehan says:

    Sign.org did a great job covering Joe’s story. Just an fyi

    Like

  13. Jake Norman says:

    The young man will be transferred soon. Please stop saying rude things about the hospital. It’s a great hospital. Half of you don’t know the whole story.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Jake, I appreciate your defense of the hospital. You obviously have a connection…and we are grateful that Joe will soon be transferred. But if the good people here had not done their part, this story would likely have a very different outcome. It is true that often good people make bad mistakes. But in your discontent. I hope you will take some time to contemplate yourself – and encourage your friends at the hospital to do the same – a little on what care should be in these types of situations. What we do know is that Joey is showing signs of life…that he deserves a chance and, thanks to the determination of his parents, he will get one. That’s not all the story, but it is the fundamental part – and it is part that hospital officials did not know as recently as this morning. That’s a fact.

      Like

      • Jake Norman says:

        I’m glad he’s doing better. that’s wonderful!
        I just hope all the calls stop. I feel sorry for those operators, their job is hard enough. they handle a lot and from what I’ve heard they had people harassing them all day.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Would you let those operators know, Jake, that their faithful transmission to superiors of what they were getting helped get such a good resolution to this? I know it had to be a tough day in many ways for them…but the first four or five hours of yesterday was one of the most tense, difficult periods I have ever gone through, with a lot of things that could have gone wrong. Most here have told me how courteous the operators were. I want to thank them for the role they played in accomplishing this and giving joey a chance. They, too, stood their posts with fidelity and I am deeply grateful for it.

          Like

  14. Nancy Witt says:

    I thank God Joey’s situation has taken a turn for the better! It’s a start but we must all continue to pray for his health and recovery. I thought about this family all day. As I looked at my 12 yr old boy with minor health issues here I can’t imagine what the parents are going through. We love the children God gave us and only God is allowed to take them into his kingdom when He is ready, not when a hospital policy declares so. I am very grateful for your updates. Keep up the great work and may God bless you richly! All the 40 Days for Life prayer warriors in Portland Oregon are praying for Joey and his parents!

    Like

  15. Thanks be to God!!! If God is for us who can be against us.!! Charlie …you are te best! If ever I have trouble…..as humans go……I want you in my corner! Treat yourself this weekend to some well needed zzzzz’s ……I know you need them too.
    God is great!!! All praise and Glory to God….for HE is good!
    God bless you Charlie!!

    Like

  16. TC says:

    Charlie,

    Thanks be to God. And thanks to you for going the extra mile for Joey. As one of your dedicated readers, I can’t help but believe that you would you would do the same for me and my family – or anyone else in this community, if we had a similar emergency.

    The best news of all is that Joey is showing signs of life – and that is due solely to the powerful prayers offered on his behalf. Houston, we have a solution (to the world’s problems): Prayer.

    God bless us, every one – especially Joey and his family.

    Acknowledge God, Take the Next Right Step, Be a Sign of Hope to Those Around You.

    Thanks for living your mission, Charlie.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    TC

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you, TC – and you bet we would – as you would. When I seriously began this site last March, I prayed I could make it a little community that would build each other up instead of tear each other down. Now I see that not only has that happened, this little community adds to the whole Church – for it worked with resolve and fortitude to help someone no one here had ever heard of until last Tuesday. Everybody here offered prayer…prayer of intercession, prayer of praise and prayer of action. I am so proud to know all of you.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. gdallaire1 says:

    Thanks Charlie for taking the next right step and for being a sign of hope. May God bless you.
    -Glenn Dallaire

    Like

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