Mathew’s Story

Site created on December 21, 2018

On Nov 11, Mathew had a freak accident with his aide Travis goofing around in his wheel chair.  Matt hurt his jaw falling down and out of his wheel chair and hit his jaw on the tray that goes on his arm rests.  On Nov 16, Dr, Hernandez, a maxillofacial surgeon operated on Matt and installed a titanium plate (in the shape of a short, high-tech popsicle stick) across the the cleft of his chin.  He was supposed to heal up and be fine.  

Unfortunately the plate got infected.  Today, Matt was operated on to remove the plate with hopes that the infection was mild and the fracture healing had gone well anyway.  We hoped for the best, but instead, when Dr. Hernandez operated today and could see the bone, the inside of the area around the fracture was badly infected.  He had to remove the bone until he found bone that would bleed.  Matt was left with a gapping space now between the two sides of the break.  Matt’s jaw was wired shut, with the break now an open space (there is a medical term for it that sounds pretty horrible).   

I’m writing this from Matt’s bedside in the post-op area.  The anesthesiologist came by and explained that when Matt started waking from the anesthesia, not knowing any of the bad news and that his jaw is wired shut, he freaked.  The medical term I just overheard the nurse say, was “extreme agitation trying to take out his IV and flailing at jaw”.  That probably was not pretty.  He has been sedated and will stay that way for a day or two in order to help with healing and adjusting to the shocking turn of events.  

The administering of the sedatives and pain killers is again a bit tricky.  Pastor Mendel was just praying with me and I thought that even though Matt is sedated I would put our beloved friend on speaker for Matt to hear in his sleep.  As Mendel finished his beautiful prayer in his wonderful Jamaican accent, I noticed Matt giving a thumbs up.  Until he started waking up and feeling the pain and freaking out, it felt like a heavenly twilight of consciousness.  Shortly after it was “I hurt!” and “What the heck is up with my jaw being wired shut!  No body told me about this!”

He is resting now.  We are moving shortly from post-op to ICU shortly.  The unexpected turn of events has been both physically and emotionally shocking for all of us but especially for Matt.  Please pray for his transition from being sedated into a 24-48 hour sleep, to a waking state with understanding that he will be ok and we’ll figure it all out.  

For now there is a feeding tube through the nose into the the stomach.  Depending on how everything goes, he may need another stomach tube operation but we hope and pray avoiding this measure.  Once things settle down, we hope Matt will be able to eat through a straw in the back of his mouth.  

Although Paula and I were shocked to hear all this when Dr. Hernandez came out after 3+ hours of surgery, we cry out in grief but stand on the truth that God loves Matt more than anyone of us ever could.  We know God is good and that we are saved by the greatest sacrificial love ever known in Jesus.  We celebrate His upcoming birth with our hope manifest in His love.  

Merry Christmas

Newest Update

Journal entry by Michael Reardon

As we drive home from our last scheduled visit at Dr Tursen’s office at Jackson Memorial South in Kendal, we are thanking God that Matt has been declared healed as I make this final post. 

This odessey started unwittingly on November 11th.  5 months and 6 days later we are done with this adventure in maxillofacial surgery and the complications with appliance infections, gruesome open wounds, granulation healing, mouth sores from a mouth unexpectedly wired shut, Christmas in the hospital, great friends helping us focus on God’s goodness with exotic drinks smuggled into the hospital, a Christmas dinner of Thia food and an awesome jam session full of joy and worship.  Then there were the PIC lines and IV antibiotic administration, problems complications, exhaustion and God proved good, faithful and merciful through it all. 

When people ask how Matt is doing now I most often answer simply, “Eating, talking and singing as if making up for lost time” and I suppose he is.

Mathew, Isabelle, Travis, Paula and I can’t thank y’all enough in expressing our appreciation for all your prayers, meals, flowers and encouragement. We are blessed.  

This accident or Mathew’s near drowning almost 23 years ago, do not define us, but they sure have been defining moments.  Again we are grateful for our family and friends who have seen us through some challenging days.  We are most grateful for God’s love and grace being poured out to through these days and all days.  


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