Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Near brain death

Joey Cronin's story








  1. See, at the very end: http://www.worldmag.com/2015/04/the_culture_of_death_lives_on/page1:

  2. It was while having my first cup of coffee in their sun room that I got the terrible call from George Cronin, that young Joey had died when a nurse tried to do a two-person changeover in the middle of the night instead of waiting for the second nurse to arrive at seven a.m. – and tragically erred. George was wailing in agony, and I started doing the same at the news that, after all this time, Joey had died the day before I was to meet him.


    Things have gone well with young Joseph, too. His progress has been slow but steady – and sometimes striking. As I had reported to you earlier, he has been reacting to stimuli around him since shortly after arriving at the new hospital and steadily exhibiting more independent, but unconscious, muscle movement. One day when I was talking on the phone with George, young Joseph started kicking his leg and twitching his arm. George and I both joked that he was probably just saying hi to me. Late last week, a couple of new little milestones were reached. When a patient in a
    coma is moved to a sitting position, it can be dangerous because his blood pressure has a tendency to spike. They sat Joseph up for an hour and all his vitals remained steady. Sounds small, but a big step. Meantime, he has started fluttering his eyelids fairly regularly in response to things around him.

    Late last week the Cronin’s got word of a new stressor. They were informed that the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) had gotten a complaint last Tuesday from a credible source in Texas, accusing them of medical neglect of Joseph. During the brief, but furiously intense three-day battle for Joey’s life at the end of January, on several occasions, Driscoll Hospital in Texas tried some very-heavy-handed intimidation tactics...

    It did not escape the professional strategist in me that, once the TRO was entered and Joseph showed unmistakable signs of life, it was very much in the hospital’s interest to keep him alive...

    The complaint that came into the DYFS office in New Jersey last Tuesday is nearly identical to the complaint the hospital filed in Texas. If it is not from the hospital directly, it would almost have to be from someone closely affiliated with it. There is no rational basis for this – just pure spite...

    The good news is that after completing an initial investigation that is determined to be unfounded, if a source maliciously tries to make the same complaint, that can be prosecuted as a crime.