Today's Evil Beet Gossip

Joey McIntyre’s Newest Baby Has Hearing Issues

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.

18 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I don’t know why, but I just don’t see this as a big deal. I mean, the irony is not lost on me that a guy who used to make music now has a child who is hearing impaired. I think it’s because I’ve worked with someone who is deaf and it was no big deal. I don’t really see it as such a disability (although I guess it really is) considering I didn’t really notice, no one else seemed to notice or care and he was able to speak pretty normally. The only thing was, you had to be sure to look at him when you spoke. Other than that, there was no difference.

    Luckily, this sort of “disability” isn’t life threatening and they are being proactive and taking a responsible and vested interest in their sons future. In a few years, I’m sure he will be like any other kid.

  • I feel like an asshole by saying this but it really isn’t that horrific. I mean, it sucks b/c we all want our children to be “perfect” when they’re born–I know this firsthand as a parent of a blnd 18month old. At least they’re able to attempt restoring some of the hearing. My son doesn’t have the option of restoring his eyesight. It’s not sad–I can’t stand when people say it is. Or “oh, god bless him”. No, Really. Don’t. I sympathize/empathize with them but it really is not the end of the world.

    • I know what you mean. I’m the mother of a two year-old who’s blind in one eye and I remember when we first found out just being devastated, but it always could be worse. I think this kind of stuff is worse on the parents than it is on the children, anyway, because the child doesn’t really know the difference to begin with. I think, although sad regardless, that it’d be much, much worse had the child grown to ten or eleven years and then lost its sight or hearing.

      • My son has Aspergers. At least there is something they can do, and they more than likely have the means to do so. It’s never easy, it’s something you don’t plan for. But when does life ever go as planned?

  • I was worried I’d sound like an asshole by saying I didn’t think it was all that big a deal. Glad to hear your guys’ perspective.

  • When someone is deaf from birth of a very early age—it’s very rare that the deaf person considers themselves “disabled,” when in all reality they don’t know anything differently. Hasn’t anyone ever heard of the death couple that was trying to bio-engineer a baby that was ALSO deaf because they wanted a deaf child? There’s a LARGE populations with the dead community that doesn’t consider being deaf a disability.

    My cousin was death from about 18 months onward because she contracted meningitis as a young child—she’s not treated any differently by anyone in the family or really has had her life be any different than anyone else besides that fact that you have to enunciate your words very clearly to her. Honestly, in retrospect it’s been harder on her family than it has on her—and I’m sure it will be the same for Rhys.

  • This really isn’t all that sad. My daughter is profoundly deaf; and although we did go through a time of mourning, and it is also a lot of work to get your child all the services they require, it has turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. There are no words to express how amazing it was when my daughter spoke her first word. It will change their lives, but in many ways for the better. They should think about getting him cochlear implants. My daughter can hear whispering when she is wearing them and when they are off -she hears absolutely nothing.

  • While it’s hard for any parent to beleive their child has a disability, like others here point out, deafness is not a big deal.

    Though not deaf myself, I spent a few years working at Galludet in DC. The deaf have their own culture, language and a large support system. These days with computers and text messaging their world has expanded. There is nothing he can’t do…except hear.

    His parents just need to accept that he is deaf, instead of fighting it. Embrace who he is. Teach him ASL, learn learn it themselves. And love him. They’ll be fine.

    • The deaf do have their own culture but for a hearing impaired person it is different. They tend to always wonder where do I fit in? The deaf culture won’t really accept them because they can for the most part speak and live in the hearing world, but the hearing world still view them as different “deaf” so yes it can be a big deal and getting services is very challenging, insurance don’t cover the cost of hearing aids etc.

      • what!? “hearing impaired” is an alternate term for “deaf,” one widely (and solely) implemented by hearing people. what are you talking about, chris? hard-of-hearing people sometimes have a hard time figuring out where they fit in, which may be what you meant, but wearing hearing aids does not make anyone hard-of-hearing. (“hearing impaired” has lately been used to describe hard-of-hearing people because of the same idiocy that has led to “tad bit” and “between you and i.”)

        what are you even saying?

    • sweet! valli ;}

      hmm…gally valli!

      milli vanilli.

      maybe rhys will grow up to be a lip-synching fraud who favors white spandex.

  • This will not be allowed to happen under the new health care system.. shame on O! Peloski and Reid and all the traitors that spawned that evil bill.

  • They DO love him! And they have accepted it. YOu can’t blame ANY parents for going through some shock and mourning finding out the news. And YES, for a Dad who’s life is MAKING music, it has to be a little devastating. But They are amazing parents…who love their son unconditionally and will do EVERYTHING in their power to help their son thrive in the world.

  • Deafness is not such a bad thing. Yeah you miss out on hearing but there is also Sign Language which is such a beautiful form of communication. It’s not that big a tragedy, get the kid hearing aids, and learn sign. You can’t expect him to be dependent on his hearing