Titus Cromer, teen at center of life support controversy, dies at 16

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Titus Cromer Jr., a junior at the University of Detroit-Jesuit High School who had been hospitalized and on life support since suffering a head injury in October, has died at age 16, the Livingston County Medical Examiner confirmed Monday.

The details of Cromer's death were not immediately available. 

Titus Cromer

Jim Rasor, the Royal Oak-based attorney for the family, confirmed in a statement that Cromer died Friday morning.

The statement, in full, reads:

"We are heartbroken to confirm that Titus Cromer passed away peacefully early Friday morning.  Our thoughts are with his family and the University of Detroit Jesuit community as they mourn his passing and celebrate his life.  We are confident that Titus' story will leave a lasting impact on families as they make difficult decisions for their loved ones. We also implore health care providers — as well as other responsible parties — to act in the best interest of patients and their families and not delay when necessary lifesaving procedures and decisions are before them, especially when it involves Michigan's flawed and inadequate 'brain death' standard. The law is clear that only an injured person's family is empowered to make life and death decisions for them when they are unable."

Cromer had been hospitalized after his injury at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

When the hospital wanted to remove him from life support, believing he had suffered “irreversible cessation of all functions of the brain”— the requirement under Michigan law to be considered brain dead — his parents sued to keep their son on life support.

Two weeks after Cromer's hospitalization, Rasor told The News that “there are strong indications that he is getting better every day. He is currently able to breathe for short periods on his own. ...That’s a dramatic improvement from when he came into the hospital.”

In December, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith signed an order calling for the hospital to perform a tracheostomy and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy procedure “as soon as reasonably possible.” 

Those procedures paved the way for his mother, LaShauna Lowry, to transfer him to a rehabilitation site, The News reported.

A GoFundMe fundraiser to cover Cromer's medical expenses brought in more than $33,000 in donations before closing down.