Young Joe Cronin in Limbo

Last night, the lawyer who has provided some assistance, Robert Painter of Houston, took aggressive action to prevent Driscoll Hospital from performing invasive tests to justify a declaration of death on Joey Cronin. As of this morning, the hospital has deferred such testing – but astonishingly, will not commit to defer them for even the whole day. Unfortunately, Painter does not formally represent the Cronins, but has just been offering them informal assistance. I expect that they will have formal representation before the hour is out.

At this point, hospital officials have been unfailingly courteous to outsiders, but have also unfailingly worked to push up the time of aggressive testing to declare brain death even when other arrangements are in process and even when it seems contrary to the hospital’s interests in establishing due diligence. At this point, the courtesy seems more like a mask than anything else. It would be hard for a reasonable man to conclude that the hospital’s position on this boy is driven by either his or his family’s best interests. I do not know what is driving it, but this is very strange.

The Washington-based Alliance for Freedom has offered to come in and provide legal help pro bono.

Sorry…I know I am a little disjointed. I was just on the phone with George when things had to end abruptly with him in panic. Thanks be to God, he called back moments later to tell me it was a false alarm. A seeming precipitous drop in Joey’s blood pressure was merely a leak in a line. Who knew my body could produce so much adrenaline at this stage of my life.

Because of your efforts, I have heard from EWTN this morning and several television stations, including one in Houston and one in Corpus Christi. Keep pounding, but this is getting out there.

I am on the phone almost constantly right now. The key, I think, is to get an emergency temporary restraining order (TRO) TODAY, that would prevent any mischief through the weekend. HealthBridge in Houston has begun procedures to accept Joey and two other hospitals have said they would go through the procedures as well. You probably wonder, as I did, why once you have got a willing destination they just don’t transfer. In our insane modern society, mounting such a transfer is a bureaucratic nightmare. Insurance has to be cleared, acceptable transport arranged and a host of other bureaucratic hurdles cleared. It can take a week or more from the time of initial acceptance in principle until the physical transfer takes place.

I spoke to a doctor about the “apnea” test. He said it does not determine death so much as cause it. A patient in extremis is removed from the ventilation tube for ten minutes to see what happens. The patient usually gets oxygen deprived – and the doctor said this can easily happen with a patient in whom the prognosis is otherwise good. Frankly, this sound to me like the old “witch” test in New Salem.

Things are extremely fluid today. I am trying to balance coordinating various things on this with keeping you informed. I expect to break in with numerous, short updates as the day progresses.

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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22 Responses to Young Joe Cronin in Limbo

  1. Vickie Jackson says:

    How about the Thomas More Society? Don’t they help in cases like this?


  2. radiclaudio says:

    Hi Charlie – your doing very very good Kingdom work leading the charge on behalf of Joe and his family. God bless you and all of us that have called and emailed on his behalf. As you have often said, we are responsible for answering God’s call but He is responsible for the results. By all means, do not (none of us) take our foot off the petal even a little until this is resolved, but also remember to take deep breaths and be at peace for our Lord and Savior is in charge…


  3. Maureen says:

    This is the web contact for Jay Sekulow’s organization, direct link to the ‘request legal help.’ Lovely receptionist there suggested Joe’s family lawyer fill out the form. God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MMBev says:

    Have read enough to get the drift. Am dressing to head to Mass. Sounds like more is happening than what would be normal response. St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle……May God rebuke him we humbly pray….. He’s your child Jesus. He was created for Your purposes and his death this way isn’t it. Praying for you, Joe, his family and all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, Bev, St. Michael…today the battle is surely on.


      • lesta koer says:

        Hi Charlie just a little bit ago I called the hospital and told them they did not have the right to take this little boys life I said god makes that decision and I said if there’s help for him let him get that and give him the chance I am praying for joey and his family. Lesta koer wittmann arizona


  5. Janet M says:

    You mentioned not knowing what is driving this. Obviously I don’t know either, but I could take a guess. It might be a misguided sense of compassion. It could be that they feel that he will never live a normal life, and that it is more compassionate to make sure he doesn’t have to live a life that they think has no quality.

    Sometimes when hospital staff thinks that way and the patient really touches their heart, they are fighting for what they believe is in that person’s best interests.

    This is where I am coming from: when my dad was dying, as more and more things went wrong with him physically and I would be on night shift sitting with him, I cannot tell you the times that well-meaning nurses would tell me we had to let him go. Now note: dad was not in a coma and was able to speak for himself. I had a nurse tell me how much he touched her, how we shouldn’t leave him suffer as he was, and other nurses said essentially the same thing. Each time I pointed out that he was able to speak for himself and every time he was asked if he wanted another procedure that might save his life, he would say “yes.”

    And yet, in the end, they had their way. It’s a long story, but when it was apparent he was going to die, he wasn’t dying quickly enough and they did something that caused his death. And because of the way they did it, we (his family) were nearby, but not with him when he died.

    We are all still very scarred by it.

    And, in fact, he only died in the first place because of a comedy of medical errors.

    Sorry about being long-winded. People think it is not right to not have the life they think is worthwhile and get very caught up in “advocating” for their patient…which means making sure they don’t have that life to live.


    • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

      Janet M,
      What happened to your father is heartbreaking, and I fear happens all to often to vulnerable people in our society. Your insight as to the nursing staff’s misguided compassion is food for thought.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Becky-TN says:

    Still praying, Charlie!

    God help us and little Joey. Lord, have mercy!!!!



  7. Mick says:

    God bless you, Charlie; and may He protect Joey.


  8. Irish7 says:

    Pure pure pure evil. I have had a child on a ventilator, and I am quite worked up. We however were in a Catholic hospital where doctors and nurses cried and prayed with us. Quite different than beauracrats pushing murder with a polite smile. I just want to scream from the rooftops. Wake up world! This could be any of us. how have we gotten to this point? We have chosen dehumanizing systems and ideologies that gleefully dispose of us while rejecting Christ who died for us. I am absolutely heartsick for these parents. And quite furious at our sick world.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. DanSouthChicago says:

    Thank you, Charlie. We will keep praying and pushing.


  10. Andrea says:

    We Pray!!


  11. Ralph E Ihli Sr says:

    the hospital probably already has a match for joe’s organs ralph e ihli sr


    • m&m says:

      I agree. Follow the money.
      There was another child a few months ago who was communicating with her parents that they were trying to call brain dead . Insane, evil is happening. Same as Terri Schiavo, the parents Were willing to take care of her, so I don’t understand why that couldn’t happen. I just want to weep for our world.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. luvmercy5775 says:

    An Orthodox rabbi from Jerusalem I contacted about this story says the following: As long as the brain stem is working the person is alive. When the brain stem is liquefied, and the EKG is permanently flat, “it is finished.” Live people we keep alive; dead people we bury. Turns on what we call “dead ” If the brain stem is producing nothing we are flushing a corpse. We are not keeping the person alive. But we have to be sure. Flat EKG for an hour.


  13. Mary W. says:

    Seems to me that today’s reading, Hebrews 10:32-39, is very providential… not only for the ordeal at hand, but for all who seriously participate on this site and know this is just the beginning of a longer battle over the days, months and years ahead. A reminder we are not of this world, but indeed in it. God needs our deeds now, more than ever.


  14. Marguerite Rose says:

    Hello Charlie and all. First time writing in, even though I’ve been reading here for about 6 months. This horrific situation has just touched me to my deepest core. I’m writing from the Canadian prairies, and feeling very helpless up here. So I’ve been praying, storming the gates of Heaven, asking for prayers of intercession from especially St. Michael, St. Raphael, St. Joseph, and even my tiny little grandbaby. Last night my husband even joined me in praying the rosary, a minor miracle in itself! Not forgetting to pray for young Joe’s family, and all those working with and for them, as well as for your sister Kim, Charlie.

    It seems to me that it’s the evil one’s machinations at work here, and perhaps a hidden blessing is that the veil has been removed so that we can see clearly the evil for what it is. I cry, and I pray. God have mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.


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