The Brown family wants to thank the entire the entire community for all of your support. We would never have gotten through this without all of the support. To the Norwood High Hockey Team, Matty loves all of you. Keep your heads held high you are a remarkable group of young men. Matty is lucky to be able to call you "friend". He will be with you in spirit everytime you step on the ice.
**Update - 06/02/10**
Matt has been home for almost two months now and is doing well. The first 2-3 weeks were spent figuring out the daily routine and what each day would be like. Matt has been very patient with his parents! He has a steady stream of visitors and it is a great pick me up for him. He is having tutors come in three times a week to catch him up on his school work and he attends physical therapy at Journey Forward twice a week for 2 hours each day - www.journey-forward.org - He loves it and the athlete in him sees it as a workout. The work they do there is fantastic. He will soon move to three days a week and we know it will do wonders for him. His left arm continues to show the most progress and he can now flip hi hand so that the palm points skyward. He has said he has some sensation in his feet and left knee and we hope that this is a sign of more good things to come. He went to the Red Sox game and met Jason Veritek and Big Papi and it was a big thrill, we thank Children's Hospital and the Red Sox for making it happen. We were also invited to attend the Black Belt Ceremony for Personal Best Karate and had a great time - they had a Kick-A-Thon to raise money for Matt and we thank them for their generosity and support. We fire up his computer each week and go through his site to show him all of the support he is getting and we thank all of you for your continued thoughts and wishes for him. We'll continue to send updates to keep you informed as to his progress.
Thanks to all of you! Matt, Kelley, Sue and Michael Brown
Hi all, Matt's mom again.... Matt moved to Atlanta last Wednesday (2/17/10). He has settled in nicely. He was originally in the ICU but has since been moved to a "regular" rehab floor. They have had Matt out of bed for extended periods of time and he has also spent increasing periods of time off the respirator. Baby steps to recovery!!
2/20/10 - Hello from Atlanta.
Our thanks to the men and women of Medflight who brought Matt to Atlanta - Boston Air Charter, you ROCK! Matt is in the ICU here at Shepherd Center and will stay until Monday. He will then transfer to the regular floor and begin his PT routine. He has told us he likes it and the people we have met and the Doctors and Nurses who are caring for him are fantastic. Most of the focus has been on diet(getting solid food into Matt's diet) and breathing. He has been up in a wheelchair for 2 hours, been breathing on his own for up to 45 minutes and has been introduced to "sip and puff" controls. Thanks to all!
Michael, Sue, Matt and Kelley
2/15/2010: Mike and Sue Brown
Last Friday Matt had a tracheostomy and the surgery went well. This procedure allows matt to continue to work on his breathing but more importantly allows him to be transferred to the Shepherd Center Rehabilitation center in Atlanta to begin his recovery. The Shepherd Center is regarded as one of the finest rehabilitation centers in the country and have a tremendous recovery history for spinal cord patients. In addition they focus on adolescents and there will be other teenagers who have suffered spinal cord injuries there, so he will be working along side other kids his age. This will be so important for Matt, to see kids his own age and interact with his peers during his recovery. They specialize in full rehabilitation, so will work on both his physical and mental recovery and also work with Sue and me to help us prepare for caring for Matt when he comes home.
Matt will be in Atlanta for at least 2 months and as you can imagine, he is anxious about moving to the center. It is a great unknown to a 15 year old and it is also 1500 miles away from his friends and family. We will be with him for the first week of his stay and my wife will relocate to Atlanta to be with him every step of the way. We know he will be in good hands at Shepherd and look forward to the next phase in his long journey.
The last 9 days have been filled with more Physical Therapy, breathing therapy and many visitors. In addition to the steady stream of family and friends, Matt was visited by Jerry York, head coach of Boston College hockey, Jack Parker, head coach of Boston University hockey and his three captains, two of the members of the Boston rock band The Drop Kick Murphy’s and Boston Bruins legend Ray Bourque. As you can tell from the picture, quite a thrill for a young hockey player (and truth be told a sports minded Dad!). Matt’s most uplifting visitor was from a young man named John Gilpatrick. John was a Suffolk University hockey player who suffered a C6 vertebra injury during a hockey game in 1996 and was paralyzed from the neck down. It took John 5 years but he is fully recovered and is now walking and playing golf. And while we don’t know what Matt’s outcome will be, the inspiration and hope we take from John, that miracles do happen and that anything is possible, reinforces or hope, our faith and belief that Matt will one day walk again.
It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway, that I, along with my wife Sue, my daughter Kelley and most of all Matt, are forever grateful for your continued support, thoughts and prayers for Matt. The outpouring of support from friends, family, the Town of Norwood and the hockey community continues to amaze and humble us. While we sometimes wonder if we deserve all of this, we are firm in our belief that Matt most certainly does!
My best to all of you and please keep Matt in your prayers!
Michael and Sue