Matthew's Story

Matthew's Story

8-year-old Matthew was born at just 23 weeks old and spent the first few months of his life at Liverpool Women’s Hospital due to complications from prematurity. Sadly, Matthew’s twin brother James, who was born a few days prior, passed away at just one day old. 

Matthew and his family had to travel to Alder Hey for a hernia operation, before returning to Liverpool Women’s Hospital for other treatments. Matthew also had chronic lung disease and was on a ventilator for several weeks. He also underwent surgery for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), a rare disease that affects the eyes of very small premature babies affecting approximately 20 per cent. Whilst the surgery was successful, Matthew still has severe visual impairment. 

Matthew has had to return to Alder Hey on several occasions. Just days after being discharged from Liverpool Women’s Hospital his mum found blood in his nappy and he was subsequently diagnosed with nephrocalcinosis; a condition in which calcium levels in the kidneys are increased and left Matthew with small grit like stones in his kidneys. Following care from Alder Hey’s nephrology team, the stones have all gone from his kidneys now. 

Matthew NICU 2.jpg Matthew 2022.jpg Matthew NICU.jpg

Since then, Matthew also had a Mic-Key button fitted to help with his nutrition intake due to a very limited diet because of his sensory processing disorder caused by his autism. 
At 2 years old Matthew was diagnosed with global developmental delay but continues to make huge progress with his speech and learning. He attends the Royal School for the Blind, which he loves, where he is encouraged to learn and make progress in all aspects of his growth. And according to his dad Adrian, he is also an incredible pianist.

Mum Natalie was a research scientist at the University of Liverpool, however due to the complex needs that Matthew has, she left research science to look after him and his sister Alice full time. 

Matthew’s dad Adrian, a physiology lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, who spent five years as a governor at Liverpool Women’s Hospital said: “I was really pleased to hear that a surgical NICU is being built, this would be an incredible asset to the care of pre-term babies in Liverpool. Facilities where parents have rooms to stay in or be able to have their baby stay with them in their rooms is such an important aspect of the overall care for the babies and parents. 

“I spent five years as a governor at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, and a lot of that time was spent discussing the needs of specialist care in one setting for both women and babies.”

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