hover over thumbnails to see pictures of Matthew
Matthew (Matty as we call him) was born on July 12, 2005. His early months were punctuated with dramatic failure to thrive and eventual weight loss, and of course, the same illnesses that his two older brothers had suffered: ear infections, sinus infections, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia.
As with his brother Jeremy, he received an early diagnosis of antibody deficiency at under a year old, and after a short and unsuccessful stint on prophylactic antibiotics, he was started on IVIG gammaglobulin replacement therapy. For Matthew this entailed a two hour infusion, every three weeks at Children’s Hopital. Because of poor venous access, we switched him to subcutaneous immunoglobulin SCIG like his brothers.
In addition to the same antibody deficiency, and lack of immune response to vaccines as his brothers, Matthew has had other issues with his immune system as well. He also has Autoimmune Neutropenia, a chronic and sometimes severe deficiency of neutrophils (neutrophils are the body’s first responder white blood cells). When he is severely neutropenic, Matty must be isolated and sometimes hospitalized in order to protect him from germs, since he has no way to fight them off on his own.
Because of the numerous and persistent ear infections, Matty had early hearing difficulties and a resultant speech delay. He appears to have auditory and also sensory processing disorders that can make communicating and reacting to his surroundings a challenge.
Matty is a delightful boy . . . the light of our lives! He is absolutely obsessed with anything on wheels, and loves to dance (especially to Yo Gabba Gabba)! He is very happy and well supported by his two older brothers, who talk him through all of his needles. Matty is growing well and catching up with his speech. He attends an integrated pre-school program where he can continue to receive his daily speech and occupational therapies. He absolutely LOVES school! He’s tolerating his antibody replacement therapy well and hasn’t had a hospitalization since beginning treatment two years ago (except for when his tonsils & adenoids came out), although he continues to have break-through sinus and ear infections on a pretty regular basis. Thanks to his infusions, we have HOPE that he will continue to thrive so that he can fully participate in school and other activities as he gets older.