Stories

Doctors Said He Wouldn’t Live Past 11, This June He Turns 62

ADVERTISEMENT

Ohio native Joey Wittkugle has a big day coming up. He celebrates his birthday on June 29. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, it will have to be a social distance parade on the 28th, but it will still mean a lot all the same. Joey’s birthday is actually quite remarkable because he’s turning 62 after doctors assured his mother he wouldn’t live passed 11.

When Bobbi gave birth to Joey, doctors gave her very grim news. They felt sure the child would never make it to adulthood, and his few years on this planet would be spent in a vegetative state. So, she heard the advice that many heard after giving birth to a child with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. They said to just hide him away and wait. But like any truly loving parent, Bobbi instead focused on being there for her son.

ADVERTISEMENT

Joey Wittkugle was a gift from God

Joey Wittkugle turns 62 this June, even after doctors said he wouldn’t live to age 11 / WTRF video screenshot

Bobbi’s priest told the distraught mother what an important baby Joey was. She recalled him saying, “Bobbi, you were gifted by God, you were chosen by God to have this child. You can’t turn your back on him. When he leaves you, then you will know the purpose of him coming to you.”

ADVERTISEMENT

RELATED: Model With Down Syndrome Gets To Strut Her Stuff On The Catwalk

Though the priest might have also believed Joey would not live long he knew to encourage Bobbi so she’d pour all her love and attention onto the boy. This would give him the chance at happiness and a full life that he deserved. This advice is directly at odds with what the doctors told her. Bobbi reflected, “The doctor came in and never asked my name and said to me, ‘You have to put him away. He’ll never talk. He’ll never walk.'” The doctor also vowed,  “He’ll never know who you are. He will live to the age of 11 and that will be the end of it.”

Let this be a lesson to all

Joey’s mother wants everyone to show love to others no matter what / WTRF video screenshot

Bobbi had the chance to learn and now wants to teach others. Important issues of developmental disabilities came to her attention when she needed to raise Joey. At the time, people did not have the same understanding of these conditions they have now. “Sixty-two years ago, nobody knew about them and they kept them in the house. I mean, you did not have them out walking or one thing or another,” Bobbi explained.

Bobbi herself is almost 90 but hasn’t slowed down in loving and caring for Joey. She urges others to do the same with anyone like Joey in their own lives. At the end of the day, she considers her mission, “To let people know that these children, these adults are just as human as you and I. They have feelings like we do. They give extra special love.” The Struthers, Ohio natives shall celebrate Joey’s birthday on June 28 with a parade. Participants can celebrate safely from a distance. Anyone interested should head to 5th Street Plaza, located near Save A Lot, at around 2 p.m. Congratulations, and a very happy birthday to Joey Wittkugle!

Show comments
Share
Published by

Recent Posts

Pamela Anderson Claims Jack Nicholson Had A Threesome At Playboy Mansion

January 31 marks the release of Love, Pamela, a memoir by Pamela Anderson. Ahead of…

3 seconds ago

Get To Know Julian Sands And His Family

Julian Sands began his acting career in the early '80s and quickly established himself as…

2 hours ago

Michael Douglas Shares Incredible Throwback Photo Featuring Jack Nicholson

Michael Douglas shared a very cool throwback photo recently to celebrate his brother's birthday. The…

7 hours ago

Marie Osmond Wants This Disney Star To Play Her In Biopic About Her Life

Recently, Marie Osmond revealed information regarding her preference on who she considers a perfect actor…

12 hours ago

How Many Contestants Have Won The $1 Million Grand Prize On ‘Wheel Of Fortune’?

Wheel of Fortune aired for the first time in 1975 and has kept on entertaining viewers…

14 hours ago

Why ‘Animal House’ Director John Landis Did Not Want To Cast Chevy Chase

He's been a source of laughter from numerous iconic movies, from the National Lampoon's Vacation…

1 day ago