Matt Guy Reich’s story does not start with tragedy, it starts with a son, brother, uncle, and friend who is “so everything good” that all who know him, love him. As Matt rests and heals in the hospital, we are comforted by our memories of his wit, intellect, compassion and humor that make him one-in-a-million.
Matt was born and raised in Park Rapids, MN, to Dr. Guy and Cathy Reich. He is the baby of the family, and the devotion of his parents and two older sisters (Allison Kallevig and Megan Tateishi) has helped bolster him throughout his life. Matt graduated in 2000 with a close-knit class from Park Rapids High School. In 2005, after living with friends and attending the University of Minnesota, he moved to New York City where he lived for 15 years and was a devoted employee of FrankStella Clothiers. Matt recently moved to Florida to be closer to his family and work on his physical and emotional well-being.
On Monday, February 22nd, 2021, Matt was riding his bike home from one of his current joys - volunteering at Turning Point, a Bradenton area homeless shelter – when he was tragically struck by a car. Matt was taken to Blake Medical Center where he underwent emergency surgery to remove part of a lung, and there it was discovered he had sustained multiple injuries including 42 fractures (mainly ribs, neck, back, and right arm) along with extensive cuts and bruises. He is currently intubated and on a ventilator, but he is responsive to commands and able to wiggle his fingers and toes even though he is sedated.
Fortunately Matt has no brain injuries and his heart, liver, and spleen are unharmed. This positive new gives us hope and inspired Matt’s medical team to call him “one in a million”…both for how lucky he is to be alive and for his gentle spirit!
Matt’s family is readying for a long road to recovery, including many more surgeries and extensive rehabilitation. In the coming days Matt needs surgery to pin his pelvis, stabilize his broken neck (C7), and reconstruct vertebrae in the middle of his back (T12/L1). The T12/L1 injury is currently the biggest threat to his future mobility, so we are praying this can be successfully operated on as soon as possible.
Matt has extensive pulmonary bruising and all of his left ribs are broken at least once (some in three places) and nine right ribs are broken (five in two places). His chest injuries are slowing down the timing of his surgeries as they need his lung function to improve before he can tolerate surgery.
Later down the road, Matt may also need elbow reconstruction and possibly skin grafts.
Moving to Florida brought Matt a fresh start - with a part-time job at Home Depot, his volunteer work, and enjoying time with family - so this accident is much more than just a physical blow to him.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help cover medical expenses and get Matt back on his feet. The success of the fundraising effort has been uplifting and so appreciated! The monetary goal was increased after we learned the woman who hit Matt had minimal insurance coverage.
Your donations, prayers and well-wishes are gratefully accepted, and we ask that you continue to keep Matt in your thoughts. He has a phenomenal support system, and with excellent medical care and our love he will overcome these injuries and be back to the wonderful man we all know him to be!
P.S. If you would like to send Matt a card, we know it would help lift his spirits!
Matt Reich ℅ Cathy and Guy Reich 19404 Solarzano St Venice, FL 34293