Condition: Premature birth; Achondroplasia
City, State: Medford, OR
Club: North Medford High School Sparrow Club Service Hours:
Date Adopted: 11/18/2016
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 5-years-old, yet he has already had more medical treatments 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 Achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism.
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. Surgeries to help the seizures and his struggle to breathe were done. Most of the procedures were successful, however, during one surgical recovery little Mateo developed a very severe case of pneumonia that he never quite recovered from.
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 were so great that, in the past, he was unable to even leave his home unless it was by ambulance. Now days, he is able to travel a little more frequently. He is also thrilled to join his family in walks around the neighborhood in a power chair loaned to them from Numotion.
Currently, young Mateo is undergoing frequent MRI’s for his hydrocephalus, enduring hospitalizations, and being tested for possible growth hormone therapy. His family has never given up hope for their young son, and because of this, they have seen him overcome time and time again. Their next desire and hope is to purchase Mateo his own power chair, and some home modifications to fit his needs.
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 such a precious way. Students at North Medford High School will be working hard to raise money for Mateo through sponsored community service and fundraising projects.