After eight years of being told that we would never be able to have children
of our own, it came as a huge surprise when Nora became pregnant. On March
10, 2004 we were blessed with the birth of our son, Matthew Alexander
Perez. Along with the joy of receiving this new member to our family,
we received much heartbreaking news.
Matthew was delivered via emergency cesarean section at Vassar
Brothers Medical Center, Poughkeepsie, NY. He suffered pulmonary hypertension
and was intubated immediately. Matthew was transferred that evening to
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Westchester
Medical Center, Valhalla, NY. Matthew developed seizures overnight
and had Phenobarbital administered to control the seizures. MRI’s
and CT scans were performed and evidence of severe brain injury was present.
In addition, a subdural hematoma (bleeding in the brain) was found. Fortunately,
this subdural bleeding did not require surgery. As a result of his brain
injury, Matthew also suffers from high muscle tone (muscle stiffness).
Matthew was discharged on March 26, 2004. We would administer Phenobarbital
On June 30, 2004 Matthew showed visual / physical evidence of seizures
at home. He was hospitalized once again for two weeks. During this hospital
stay, his Phenobarbital
was increased; Dilantin
were added to his regimen. Upon discharge his regimen consisted of Phenobarbital,
in varying dosages. Matthew continues to take all three anti-seizure medications
to this day.
In addition to his medicinal regimen to control his seizures, Matthew
receives physical therapy three times a week and occupational therapy
once a week. Matthew must be seen on a regular basis by a neurologist,
neonatologist, and gastroenterologist. Not to mention the usual office
visits to the pediatrician and emergencies to the hospital.
Matthew’s condition has given us a real, yet unexpected, challenge
in our lives. It has required us to make drastic changes to our lifestyle
and schedules. Oftentimes, it has been an emotional, physical and financial
drain on us.
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No medical professional can state with certainty how Matthew’s brain
injury will affect him in the long term. A lifetime of seizures and medication,
inability to walk or talk, poor eyesight or blindness, learning disabilities,
cerebral palsy – all possible effects of Matthew’s brain injury.
How You Can Help
We are investigating alternative treatments for Matthew including, but
not limited to, Hyperbaric
Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). If effective, a mild
HBOT chamber is available to treat Matthew at home. These alternative
treatments and equipment are costly and not covered by private or state
health insurance. In addition, preparations for long term disability are
being considered and made. Wheelchair accessibility changes to our home
and a wheelchair accessible vehicle for transport are expenses that will
most likely be incurred.
If you would like to help with Matthew’s medically related expenses,
your generous donations would be greatly appreciated. Your donations can
be made through Paypal (just choose one of the buttons below) or
checks can be mailed to:
Matthew A. Perez Medical Health Fund
P.O. Box 183
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
Thank you for your kindness and support.
Jose, Nora and Matthew
The Perez Family
If you would like to e-mail a note to Matthew,
Feel free to forward this page to your friends and family.
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