I don’t usually do this but I am going to write this post in the first person because I am going to describe my own experience today with Matt. I am Stephanie, I have been friends with Matt for more than fourteen years. I am so excited to share with all of you Foush Followers today. I feel like I could do cartwheels and tap dance on the roof tops.
Today I got to hear Matt say, “I love you” to his mom. He is talking!
Yesterday they put in his speaking tube and he didn’t seem to like it very much. He had it in only a short time before they removed it. They tried again today and Matt actually spoke! When I walked in the room to visit, his mom Debbie was there and was very excited. She told me Matt had been sitting up on his own.
She also told me that Matt was speaking! I walked up to Matt’s bed and he was grinning from ear to ear. His eyes were sparkling and I could feel the excitement in the room. I cried and cried tears of joy! Debbie was so happy, she was hugging Matt and telling him what an amazing job he was doing. Matt was so happy to have his voice back and I think seeing the joy his mom got to experience made him equally happy. He didn’t stop smiling for about 15 minutes.
I told Matt, “This is so amazing, you have your voice!” and he responded, “This is so cool!”
He told his mom he, “..wanted to get outta here” and he said his neck brace was really uncomfortable. He also was able to tell his mom he didn’t like the metal bars that remain on his gums from when his mouth was wired shut. The nurse is looking into getting Matt a soft neck brace and he should hopefully be getting the remainder of the metal bars removed from his mouth this week.
I asked Matt if he knew who I was and he responded, “Of course, of course, of course I do!” Then he paused for a moment and said with a smile, “Do you know who I am?” I cracked up! Always a funny guy. Matt’s uncle Ben arrived for a visit as well and Uncle Ben asked, “Matt, do you know who I am?” Matt replied, “Of course!” Uncle Ben said, “Then tell me who I am.” Matt exclaimed loudly, “Uncle Ben!!”
We asked Matt if he knew why he was in the hospital and he got a little more serious and thoughtful. We asked if he remembered anything about the accident. He thought about it and said he didn’t remember anything. We told him he had been in an accident. I asked if he remembered being in Mexico with his friends Selway, Megan and Lindsey. Again he became very thoughtful and serious. He didn’t seem to remember anything about being on the trip. All of that might start to come back to him though. He might have more of a memory of it when he speaks with those friends who were actually on the trip with him.
I asked Matt if he was tired and he said he was, it had been a big morning. I told him to get some rest because I knew he would be having a lot of visitors since everyone would be wanting to hear him speak.
Another really big breakthrough that I don’t want to be overshadowed by the others is that Matt is also now moving his right arm and leg a lot! This is huge and wonderful news! He is able to bend his right knee and lift his leg up off the bed. He is also able to bend his right arm and lift it up into the air.
Matt’s speaking tube will be in for as long as he tolerates it. Right now he speaks in a very quiet voice most of the time, which can be difficult to make out what he is saying, and he mumbles a bit. He will get better at speaking the more practice he gets. It can be expected that he will get tired from the new physical and mental exertion of speaking and as he continues to improve and work on movement of the rest of his body. It is, of course, important to allow Matt to rest as needed and to keep visitors to 2-3 people at a time. Keeping in mind that we are entering cold and flu season, there is hand sanitizer on the wall in his room and a sink for washing hands before visitors touch him.
Matt is will be moving on to the next phase of his treatment before we know it, so it is more important than ever to spread the word about his fund-raiser page so his rehabilitation expenses can be covered.
Matt’s family appreciates your support so very much!
Stay tuned, there will be lots of Matt updates this week!
To anyone who has been visiting Matt, please send me stories of your visits with him so they can be shared with the rest of the Foush Followers. firstname.lastname@example.org