This is a really sad story, actually.
Joey McIntyre, famed for his 90’s boy-band New Kids on the Block, received the blessing of a healthy new child born into his family three months ago. The male child goes by the name of Rhys.
When Rhys was born, it was apparent to Joey and family that the child had hearing issues. The child had also failed the preliminary hearing test in the hospital before the mother and child were released to go home. Post-care follow-up tests showed that baby Rhys had extensive hearing loss.
The news naturally hit the new parents hard; Joey felt a “range of emotions” when learning of his son’s disability, and his wife claimed that she felt responsible:
“You’re just shocked, and your stomach gets in knots … It feels like you’re holding your breath. And that feeling lasted for a few days, until you get educated. You go from, ‘Oh my God’ — fearing that someday my son might be walking into the street and I’m calling after him and he’s not going to hear me — to ‘It’s going to be okay’ to ‘It’s going to be amazing.’ Rhys’ hearing loss is part of who he is. His life is going to be as special as Griffin’s [McIntyre’s other child]. There’s just work involved.”
McIntyre and wife spoke to People magazine about their journey to restore Rhys’ hearing and claimed that they will stop at nothing to do what they can in order to make the child feel comfortable with this setback.
Joey and family state that they plan to send the child to speech therapy in order to reduce the side effects of hearing loss. The McIntyre’s also had Rhys fit with hearing aids in order to restore even a minimal amount of hearing. Despite the child’s disability, his parents claim that he’s a well-adjusted child that thrives in every other area in his young life and that the hearing aids have been a huge help. McIntyre’s wife, Barrett, states that Rhys is a “cool” baby and claims that even though the child is only three months old, he’s already adapted to so much and will hopefully continue to do so as he grows:
“He’s really easy-going; he has that chill vibe .. Rhys’ hearing loss won’t stop him from doing anything. That’s not to say his first day of school or when he goes to high school, I won’t be sick; It’s hard enough to go to school with curly hair and a zit. But he’ll be so cool that hopefully he won’t have a problem with it.”
This is really sad. I mean, we rag on celebrities all of the time, but a lot of times we don’t realize that some of them are parents, too, and endure the same types of problems that the rest of us “regular” folk do — no more, no less.
Best wishes to baby Rhys and the rest of the McIntyre clan.