Date dream fulfilled: 11/10/2017
Summary: 4 year old Matthew's dream was to have a specialized travel bed so that he would be able to have sleep-overs at his Grandparents house.
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Matthew’s Dream – to sleep safe and sound.
Matthew is 4-years-old and a whirlwind of energy with a fascination for wheels, water and the great outdoors. To see Matthew outside, playing with his two older sisters and jumping on his mum and dad, you wouldn’t think he was any different to other little boys his age.
When Matthew was born, there were no real signs that he was anything other than a healthy baby, but within a few weeks the situation changed. Debbie, Matthew’s mum told us: “At Matthew’s 6-week check, he wasn’t smiling. It didn’t really worry us at this point as he was still so young. But, as the time went on, more milestones were missed and the epileptic fits started, it became clearer that something wasn’t right.”
Matthew was diagnosed with Chromosome Duplication 15q, a very rare disorder affecting only 1 in 30,000. The condition causes Global Developmental Delay, it affects every area of his development from speech to muscle tone. Matthew’s condition also comes with severe epilepsy known as West Syndrome, it is now under control but it could return at any time.
Today, Matthew has the development age of a 12-month-old in a 4-year old’s body. He is unable to speak; and he probably never will. He also doesn’t understand the concept of danger like a 4-year-old should. Ian’s dreams of Matthew playing football with him in the park were shattered, a realisation that hit him particularly hard one day when seeing dads and their little ones kicking the football around. That would never be him and Matthew.
Ian says: “In that moment when we were told by the doctor what Matthew has, everything was shattered – all our hopes and dreams for him. We didn’t even think we would ever see him smile and as a toddler he really didn’t. We were also told he would not walk, but with a little encouragement from his sisters we saw him take his first steps. He won’t have the big milestones of going to university and other life occurrences, so we treasure and celebrate absolutely every new thing Matthew does, especially as sometimes he regresses again.”
Matthew and his family’s dream is something we all take for granted
One of Matthew’s big loves is being outdoors. Each year the family head to the Lake District to spend time with Matthew’s grandparents. As a family – and especially for Matthew’s sisters - this gives them the break from the day to day routine, it allows them to relax together and it gives them the freedom to be outside. Ian says: “The girls [Matthew’s sisters] are young carers really – they take it on themselves, but it can be hard, so it’s important for us to get away as a family and spend time with grandparents.”
Sadly, these trips had come to an end; it was too far to go for a day and Matthew had outgrown his travel cot. Matthew lacks understanding of danger and it was the families dream to be able to continue their trips and for this they needed a special travel bed that would keep Matthew safe at night.
Dreams Come True were happy to help fund Matthew’s travel bed, he has it now and he loves it!
Ian says “We don’t know what the future holds for Matthew, we don’t know how his condition is going to affect him long-term. But today, we want to be able to spend time with Matthew’s grandparents, to enjoy the simple things of being outdoors in the Lake District and to have the time and space to be a family. To see Matthew having fun outside, enjoying time with his sisters and grandparents is our dream come true. Without the travel bed, it wouldn’t have been possible.”