Update on Joey Cronin

By Charlie Johnston

Young Joey Cronin is now safely at Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, New Jersey (it is a tiny suburb of Newark and the hospital commonly is identified as being near the larger town of New Brunswick, New Jersey).  If you want to send cards or notes, the address is 150 New Providence Rd., Mountainside, New Jersey 07092.

Joey was transported today, leaving at 8 a.m. His father, George, is with him and they are thankfully, just about a half hour away from his namesake grandfather. It was a friend of Joe, the grandfather, who first alerted me to all this and got it started.

His mother, Susan, is with the three other kids in Corpus Christi, getting things set up for a foundation for Joey to help with all of the expenses – and getting things in order. The family plan is for all to move to New Jersey. Hopefully, George will be able to transfer in his job, which is with the post office as a mechanic for their trucks.

After the Novena is finished tomorrow, I will ultimately put up a permanent link at the top bar, with links to the foundation and news on his ongoing progress. I am going to have to start calling young Joey Joseph. George told me today that some time ago, during a routine doctor visit, the doctor said something to “Joey.” The boy scowled and pointedly informed the doctor that his name is “Joseph.” While George was talking to me today, he said Joey was twitching and his leg was moving – he figured Joseph was saying hi to me. I said hi right back at him.

There are several organizations that stepped up big-time to make this happen. One that I have not yet mentioned is the Texas Center for the Defense of Life. (TCDL) When the Washington-based Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) sought to go in and get the restraining order to keep Joseph alive, they needed local lawyers on the ground because of the emergency nature. The TCDL was the organization which actually went to court and secured the order. They are a non-profit organization that acts pro bono – and it was the third such end-of-life case in which they have intervened in the last year. Thanks must also go to the Texas Right to Life, which had begun effectively seeking arrangements for a transfer just before I heard about all this. In fact, they were the ones who cleared the way for the potential transfer to a hospital in Houston. It may seem moot now that Joseph actually ended up in a New Jersey hospital, but it was absolutely critical at the time when the restraining order was sought. It was extremely helpful for the judge to know that there were hospitals aware of Joseph’s condition who were aware and eager to treat him and try to help him recover.

For those of you who have a little extra cash laying around, I hope you will consider hitting the “donate” button for these organizations. They were the ones who were effectively manning their posts and getting the job done when it was needed. Without them, we could be mourning Joseph right now. They don’t just talk a good game, they live it.

God bless all of you and thank you for working together so prayerfully, profoundly, and effectively. In barely 50 hours, you mobilized on behalf of a boy that was scheduled to have life support terminated and gave him a fighting chance. God knows.

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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17 Responses to Update on Joey Cronin

  1. Paul says:

    Thnx Charlie…please let us know when the link is up so we can donate to the foundation for Joseph


  2. N. Wright says:

    Our Lady of Lourdes, please hear our prayers for Joseph! Thank you Charlie for initiating the mobilization of so many members of the Body of Christ to help Joey. Continued prayers…


  3. radiclaudio says:

    God is good…


  4. Dan Tucker says:

    Joseph’s story might make for a very compelling documentary or docudrama if an independent filmmaker was willing to run with it. The organizations that you mentioned could be prominently featured along with the prayer warriors behind the scenes. Heaven Is For Real, the story about four year old Colton Burpo who allegedly experienced Heaven during emergency surgery cost 12 million to make and grossed over 100 million. Proceeds could go toward Joseph’s foundation and a movie like this could go a long way to counter our culture of death.


  5. margaretguidarelli@hygieneering.com says:

    Amen Charlie. Thank you for mobilizing us to help Joseph.


  6. Momof6g4b says:

    I can hardly believe Joey ended up in Mountainside, NJ, just down the hill from where I grew up in Berkeley Heights. Most of my family is still there. In some ways I wish I still was. It would be such a thrill to be able to personally reach out to Joey’s family and support them in their transition. I do know some good solid Catholics in the area…. We will continue to keep everyone in prayer. Thanks for keeping us posted Charlie.
    God bless you,


  7. donna269 says:

    I am 40 minutes from CMH in NJ….it is a very good facility….if they need anything let me know….


  8. Irish7 says:

    Oh my heart aches for Joseph’s mother. I am praying for supernatural strength for her. Her whole world was turned upside down in a moment. I am so so encouraged that he’s breathing on his own.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bob says:

    I made a comment and a question last week as to why the hospital was so quick to want to declare him “brain dead”? Was it Texas law, vanity on the part of the docs involved, a desire of organs, cost savings or other factors, in your knowledge Charlie, which led to the hurry up nature of this vs. allowing Joseph and his family to have time to see if he would recover? Understanding their mentality would help us in knowing what we are fighting against for future battles.
    Thanks bob.


    • charliej373 says:

      If this were an anomaly, that question would call for very vigorous investigation of this particular situation, Bob. Unfortunately, it is not an anomaly. As I wrote the Saturday after the restraining order, this has largely become standard medical practice. To speculate on motives here, given that it is standard medical practice, would be just that – speculation.

      A seriously germane question is why it has become standard medical practice. A liberal definition of brain death has risen along with the rise of organ donation…that is suggestive, though not definitive. There are numerous examples each year of hospitals wanting to declare someone brain dead and than the patient spontaneously recovering. On the one hand, I would think doctors and hospitals would hate the embarrassment of that. At a deeper level, the phenomenon is common enough that I wonder why they don’t shrink back in horror and ask themselves how they can so often be both so certain and so wrong.

      At the state where this case is right now, there has been a small repudiation of medicine. They were determined that Joseph was brain dead – and shortly after the TRO was in place, Joseph showed irrefutable signs of active brain activity – and the hospital no longer considered a diagnosis of brain death accurate. Joseph has already done what attending medical experts said was impossible for him to do. If he should make a complete recovery at some point, it would be a stronger repudiation.

      Dr. Paul Byrne has been a leading advocate that the more liberal, error-prone definition of brain death as actual death and the loose standards accompanying it have been driven by the desire for donated organs. That thesis makes much sense since the medical profession seems ready to bear substantial and frequent proofs of error on the most fundamental question before them: whether a patient in a deep coma can ever function again. Fortunately, Dr. Byrne has become part of the team caring for Joseph now.

      You are certainly right that if doctors and medical institutions will NOT consider a re-evaluation, despite frequent embarassments. the general public has to force the issue. And I would say when doctors speak in absolutes on what they are often proved wrong on, then it becomes not just a matter of error, but erodes the very credibility of public confidence in medical expertise and credibility generally. That the medical profession is willing to suffer such frequent erosion is suggestive of a powerful incentive. Keeping a ready supply of harvestable organs is the only credible one I am aware of, though there are probably others I have not thought of.

      But the horror of this situation is that the original hospital in NOT an outlier on this issue, but firmly in the mainstream of modern medical practice. I think it quite striking that the rise of “ethics panels” in hospitals did NOT begin in earnest until we needed a body to explain away practices that our native sense rebels against. Now this could be because the rise in technology has made many issues much more ambiguous and difficult. Often the cry, “if we could save just one life” is ignorantly used to justify something that will end depriving thousands of lives the resources they need to have a chance. But it could also be that we desperately need something to soothe ourselves at no longer actually being ethical. Kind of like the Wizard of Oz with the Scarecrow: he couldn’t give him a brain, so he gave him a diploma (who knew that would become US education policy?) In this, we don’t actually have reasonable ethics, so we form an ethics panel.

      There is a lot to cover here in reclaiming a culture of life. And we will take much of it up here.


      • Bob says:

        Thanks, I pushed on this as when there is a possibility of life returning, it seems obvious that we should give life a chance. Clearly with life support technologies there are ambiguous cases where things are unclear and how long the extraordinary life support should be maintained is sometimes unclear. Ideally we would hope that people who can recover show evidence soon enough to remove all doubt but in medicine the ideal does not always happen. So may God in His mercy grant Joseph healing of mind, body and spirit. And with our neighbors in Canada approving Dr. assisted death, we know the battle is uphill until God intervenes.


      • bnuckols says:

        From what I’ve read, the docs were doing tests to determine Joseph’s status. The scan that the parents objected to is not used only to determine brain death, but to measure the uptake of nutrients in the cells of the brain. It would allow the docs to evaluate which areas of the brain had damage and to better determine the extent of swelling. It sounds as though there was poor communication.


  10. ekebodeaux says:

    Thank you, Charlie, for mentioning Texas Right to Life. The daily phone calls with his mother, Susan, left us heartbroken every day. So thankful to receive the text message from her saying Joseph was safely in NJ. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Eke, thank YOU. I have worked, over the years, with various state right to life groups and far too many are bogged down in ancillary matters and internal power struggles. I admire that those of you with Texas Right to Life kept your eye on the ball and focused on your mission – both when everyone was looking and before anyone was. I think the Texas Right to Life organization sounds like a true model of what every right to life group in the country should be. And I am delighted that it seems the various organizations in your state truly work to cooperate with each other instead of engaging in constant, barren competition with each other. God bless you and keep you steadily doing God’s work. You are sure a sign of hope to me!

      Liked by 4 people

      • malachi99 says:

        Well said Charlie and I certainly agree with your assessment of the bizarre phenomenon of competition (not in the original sense of ‘seeking together’) between various prolife groups and their futile inter-territorial warring. Alas, even the best can be overcome by the temptation to power and control.


  11. narnialion54 says:

    Thank you and all of your team for being a sign of hope to Susan, Joseph’s mother, and to all of us. To know there is such goodness in this world as you folks makes me want to weep for joy.

    Liked by 1 person

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