My Son Joey Celebrates his 20th Birthday
On April 12, 2000 I had the life changing experience of having my first child and son born. A lifelong dream fulfilled. Joey Niamtu, IV was born with normal birth scores and all seemed fine. Within several months he began having seizures and we found out that his life would never be normal; our life would never be normal. Joey will never be able to walk or talk, will always be tube fed and in diapers. These severe disabilities have never, ever stopped his infectious and impish smile and laughter and his ability to light up a room with his presence. Joey has had over 50 operations and procedures in the past 20 years and he and his brother Evan are the toughest people I have ever been around. I have a a lot of friends that played in the NFL, friends that were Navy Seals and Green Berets and friends that that competed in MMA. Joey is tougher than all of them. His will to survive and to be easy going and pleasant is amazing. I love this guy and he has made me tough. When I kiss him goodbye in the morning before leaving for work, that body contact is an energy transfer like a bolt of lightening. His presence has given me incredible drive, perseverance and compassion. His personality has helped April and I raise funds and assist numerous charities for children and adults with similar disabilities regionally and nationally
Yesterday was his 20th birthday. I wish I could have bought him his first car, or a new fishing rod or picked him up from his dorm to bring him home during this pandemic. I often wonder what his voice would sound like and what it would sound like to hear the word “daddy”. I have said countless times, although he has never, and won’t ever say a single word, he has spoken volumes on life and love. Happy birthday buddy. We love you more than we can ever express.
JoJo celebrating his 20th
Happy 20th birthday buddy, sorry Evan, you have to wait till August.
Joey with his best friend and nurse Miss Ruth
Joe Niamtu, III DMD