Meet 18-year-old Matthew. Matthew loves people, and he loves getting to know them – truly know them!
Matthew was born full term and healthy. But just two short days after leaving the hospital, Matthew was extremely restless and fussy. Matthew’s grandmother was staying with them, and sensing Mother Nicola’s tiredness, took over baby duty, and sent Nicola to bed. Within half-an-hour, Nicola’s mother was screaming for her. When Matthew’s parents got to the living room, Matthew was foaming at the mouth. He was only six-days-old, and tests showed that he had suffered a stroke which was causing seizures. The hardest part for his parents, at this point, was watching their baby being taken into a Heli-Ambulance bound for Children’s Hospital without them; they needed to catch a ferry.
The staff at BC Children’s Hospital managed to get the seizures under control, but they were now monitoring his head size as he had developed water on the brain. His head was getting larger and larger, and after just three days, surgery was performed to insert a shunt that would drain the water from his brain and into his stomach. While they were told he would live, nobody could tell them what quality of life he would have. The right side of his brain was damaged, and he had Cerebral Palsy.
Matthew spent five years on anti-seizure medication, which meant regular blood work, followed by three years weaning him off of the medication to get him to where he is today – 10 years seizure free!
At 18 years of age, Matthew truly is a wonderful young man with a heart of gold and the brightest smile. From very early on, he had a way of lighting up the room with his presence, and he still does today.
While he does experience some weaknesses on the left side of his body and some learning delays, his family could not be any prouder of the young man who God has given them.
He truly is a joy and a miracle!