McIntyre Family Copes With Son's Hearing Loss - Video & article from WBZ: Update: Video has been deleted, but here is the article:
As a teenager, New Kids on the Block singer Joey McIntyre had to deal with the deafening screams of young girls in the audience. As an adult, he's dealing with the fact his son may never hear him speak."You just feel like there's a huge rock that was dropped on you and you can't breathe very deeply," said McIntyre.McIntyre remembers the moment he and his wife, Barrett, were told their newborn son Rhys had severe hearing loss. It took some time for the news to sink in."For me it was very much a process going through the emotions," said Barrett McIntyre.Things were going well for the singer. He had just wrapped up a successful reunion tour with the NKOTB and had recently released new music. But then his world changed. Things they took for granted with their first son Griffin, they couldn't with Rhys."We're just so in tuned to what a baby says and does," said McIntyre. "Stuff that you normally would take for granted and wouldn't think about."And that's why on Tuesday, McIntyre was at Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, to meet patients and other parents like him.Seven-year-old Jack Fish of Leominster was there for eye surgery after being bitten by a dog.His mother, Kara, was thrilled to meet McIntyre."That was awesome," she said. "I've seen them a bunch of times growing up."Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck is also chairman of the MEEI board of directors.He's used to dealing with a child with a disability. His 18-year-old son is blind.He gave the McIntyre's advice on how to deal with it."It's much better probably than you fear it might be," said Grousbeck. "It can be really fantastic but it's always a little bit of hard work." He added, "Hang in there."Joey and Barrett had their son's hearing tested the day after he was born which is mandatory in most states. Doctors say early detection is the key."This is important because those are critical times for developmental speech and language," said Dr Donald Keamy, pediatric otolaryngologist at MEEI. "Without your hearing you can't develop speech and language."Rhys is ten-months-old and doing well with hearing aids.His father doesn't worry he'll never hear him sing, in fact he jokes about it."Yeah, it's a shame with my voice for him not to hear me. I mean Frank Sinatra (not a problem)...but me…" (He laughs).In the end he knows one thing for sure."He's going to be ok, no matter what."The New Kids on the Block will reunite Wednesday in Boston. They'll perform at a benefit for the MEEI Cures for Kids Fund.
Joey McIntyre Teams Up With Local Hospital To Help Children - Video & article from TheBostonChannel.com: Update: Video has been deleted, but here is the article:
BOSTON -- New Kids on the Block singer Joey McIntyre and his wife, Barrett, got an early Christmas present last December when their youngest son Rhys Edward McIntyre was born.The baby seemed happy and healthy, but then 10 days later a newborn hearing screening revealed a problem. Rhys was born with profound hearing loss."I think we both were obviously incredibly shocked," said Barrett McIntyre."You’re in shock," said the pop singer. "We just don't know how to react."With no known cause, the couple ran through the gamut of emotions."How do we even wrap our heads around this?" said Barrett McIntyre. "And I think, you know, as days went by, your emotions and your feelings about the situation change drastically.""These kinds of experiences -- they open your heart up, your mind up, your life up," Joey McIntyre said.The experience has also given the family new purpose: To help other families like them.They decided to team up with Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary to get the word out about newborn hearing screening and to help launch the new Cures for Kids Fund."It's just helping out and making sure that people in the field have what they need to keep going and keep doing their work," said Joey McIntyre."It's important to screen children when they are first born for hearing because something can actually be done about it," said Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Dr. Donald Keamy. "Hearing plays a large role in development in children."The McIntyres are thankful for the technology that diagnosed Rhys' condition early. That technology originated at the Eye and Ear Infirmary, too, and has helped improved Rhys' condition."He's a normal 10-month-old kid," said Joey McIntyre. "He's climbing around and getting into everything, and he's happy."The McIntyres hope telling their story will produce similar outcomes for other children born with disabilities."To be here in my hometown and to be able to help an institution like this is really special," Joey McIntyre added.McIntyre, along with the other New Kids on the Block, will be performing Wednesday at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary's Sense-sation Gala. It benefits the Cures for Kids Fund.