Last December, NKOTB’s youngest Joey McIntyre welcomed his second new kid, Rhys. A few days after his birth, tests revealed that baby Rhys had a serious hearing impairment that will probably require speech therapy and possibly cochlear implants.
After a few months of being completely wrapped up in the joy/sleep-deprivation of having a new baby, Joey and wife Barrett are talking about how the felt when they got the news.
Says Barrett: “We went through a full range of emotions. As a mother you want to protect your kids. I thought, ‘How could I let this happen?’”
“I felt responsible.”What’s wild is we will never really know how [anything] sounds for him.”
According to Joey, he found the news extremely troubling at first, but now he’s embracing his son’s challenges:
“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. There’s just work involved.”
On the bright side, at least Rhys may possibly never have to listen to NKOTB.