Doctors told his mother he wouldn’t live past 11, he’ll turn 62 very soon

Bobbi Wittkugle, Joey's mother, was informed that he wouldn't live past age 11. In fact, when he was born, the physician who cared for his mother was very direct about it.

"The doctor entered without introducing himself and told me, "You have to put him away. He won't ever speak. Never will he walk. You'll remain an enigma to him. When he becomes 11 years old, everything will be over,' Bobbi said WBTW.

But Joey has disproven all of his doubters after 60 years. He turns 62 on June 29.

Bobbi, who is over 90 years old, noted that the era in which her son was born in Ohio was very different. People with Down syndrome and others who have developmental difficulties were not well understood.

Parents were frequently told to place their babies in institutions.

"Seventy-two years ago, no one was aware of them, and they were kept within the home. You didn't have them out walking or doing anything else, she continued.

Joey's family organized a vehicle parade for him on his birthday.

While many people view their birthdays as merely another day or another year, according to Bobbi, for her son it is yet another year in which Joey has defied the odds.

"I want people to start realizing that you shouldn't turn your back on one of our children as you used to do years ago. Please learn to love them as much as they love you since they are human and wonderful creations of God.
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