Condition: Premature Birth, Seizure Disorder, Achondroplasia
City, State: Medford, OR
Club: Rogue Valley Adventist Academy Sparrow Club Service Hours: 302
Date Adopted: 1.15.2013
Mateo's Story:In November of 2011, a registered nurse in Jackson County made the statement that “Mateo is the most medically involved child we have under our care in the valley.” Unfortunately, this statement is not exaggerated. Little Mateo is only 2-years-old, yet he has already had more medical treatment than most people have in a lifetime.
Mateo was born two months ahead of schedule and spent the first eight weeks of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit. In addition to struggling through a premature birth, Mateo’s situation was further complicated by the fact that he was born with the most common type of dwarfism- achondroplasia.
After several months, Mateo was released to go home with his family. However, at around six months old, Mateo started having life-threatening seizures. During these seizures, Mateo would completely stop breathing and would turn blue. Surgery to help these seizures was unsuccessful and the many medications doctors prescribed were not working.
Doctors believed that Mateo’s condition might improve if he was able to breathe easier, so surgery was done to remove Mateo’s tonsils and adenoids. The surgery went well, but days later, little Mateo developed a very severe case of pneumonia. Mateo’s entire body began to shut down, including his heart, lungs, and kidneys. Unfortunately, Mateo has still not recovered from the damage done to his little body.
Mateo currently requires several machines (including a ventilator, feeding pumps and tubes, oxygen tanks, suction machine, and more), working around the clock, to help keep him alive. Mateo’s needs are so great that he needs to be transported by ambulance for regular doctor appointments. Apart from these appointments, Mateo is not often able to leave home.
In spite of his many challenges, Mateo is an inspiration to all who meet him. Although he cannot speak, he smiles and interacts with others in the ways he is able to. Students at Rogue Valley Adventist Academy are have connected their hearts to Mateo and his family, and they are working hard to raise money for him through sponsored community service and fundraising projects.