Teen can stay on life support, undergo surgery before transfer, judge orders

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

An agreement has been reached allowing a Lathrup Village teen to remain on life support at Beaumont Hospital and undergo surgery there until he can be transferred to a long-term care facility.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith signed an order Monday calling for the hospital, which had determined that Titus Cromer Jr. had no brain activity and life support should be removed, to perform tracheostomy and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy procedures “as soon as reasonably possible.” 

Titus Cromer has been at the hospital since Oct. 17

Those procedures pave the way for the youth’s mother, LaShauna Lowry, to transfer him to a rehabilitation site within 14 days after the actions, according to the order.

“When I told her that Beaumont had relented after weeks of fighting about it, she sobbed with tears of joy,” her lawyer, Jim Rasor, told The Detroit News. “To get the gift that there’s hope for her son and a shot at recovery, it’s just an overwhelming feeling for her.”

Reached for comment Monday night, Beaumont spokesman Mark Geary said: “We are continuing to abide by the U.S. District Court’s orders regarding care for Titus while this matter works through the legal system. There has been no change in Beaumont’s prior determination of death. We remain compassionate and supportive while the family continues to work towards closure of this tragic situation.”

Cromer, who is in a coma, has been hospitalized at Beaumont Royal Oak since Oct. 17 following a head injury. The hospital determined the 16-year-old was “brain dead," which his family and outside doctors have disputed.

Rasor last month sought an emergency temporary restraining order and filed a civil rights lawsuit. Both parties later went into mediation, he said Monday.

Court filings show Beaumont sought to dismiss the case, saying Cromer suffered an “irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem.”

Rasor said reviews from medical experts show the University of Detroit Jesuit High junior and wrestler performs functions such as regulating his own heart rate and producing hormones. A relative reported he has moved his fingers when she held the teen’s hand, according to court records.

“You can only do these things when you have brain function,” Rasor said.

Cromer’s family is reviewing its options for the best facility to take him, he said Monday night.

Meanwhile, they continue to seek help for expenses through a GoFund Me account.