I know that I have already posted a blog today, but it has been on my heart today to post this story for the past few days. I have been working up the guts to post it and it has taken some time. The is my essay I wrote last year for my senior English class. I wrote this story about my youngest brother, Matthew, who is special needs. I hope that this story will touch your heart, just like Matthew has touched mine.
Angels do exist
I was born into a perfect little family with a mom, dad, one sister, Jade, and one brother, Clay. I was the oldest of the three children. My parents had just built their dream house on 50 acres next door to family. They had envisioned their children’s lives to be fun, carefree, and spending time outdoors with cousins. We all had bright futures in front of us. Then the fourth addition to the family came, a little boy named Matthew (which means “gift from God”). He weighed eight pounds and had chubby cheeks and a contagious smile. Matthew caught the flu a few weeks after he was born and my mother took him to the hospital. He soon was put on dialysis as his kidneys began to fail. The nurse then programmed his machine incorrectly and removed 500 cc’s of fluid instead of five. She then unknowingly went down the hall to talk to another nurse. During this time, too much blood from Matthew’s body was drained and he suffered a cardiac arrest and clinically died. The doctors quickly rushed in and after a code blue of forty minutes they were able to rescuitate him. I will be forever grateful for the doctor’s hard work and determination to keep my brother alive.
Even though Matthew was alive, nothing would ever be the same again. Matthew was diagnosed with severe brain damage from the lack of oxygen during the cardiac arrest. My parents were told he would never walk nor would he talk. Being a child of five years during this time, I remember that the laughter and fun in my perfect family stopped. My mother who was always smiling was no longer doing so. Our lives from this point were never the same.
Luckily my parents and family do not accept defeat that easily. My mother began to take Matthew to the best therapists in the area. His therapists included speech, physical, occupational, oxygen, eye, language, and play therapies. I spent my childhood years waiting for my brother in therapy waiting rooms while other kids my age were having play dates and having fun. Even though this had not been the plan, I spent lots of time around other kids like Matthew who are considered special. I learned to talk to them and make them feel included and loved. There was one family that we befriended that had two special needs boys who spent two summers with us so they could receive therapy in the Dallas area. One of the boys was in a wheelchair and my mother was so proud that we always included him by making sure he was in the room where we were playing and even having races down the hallway with him.
Honestly, I will confess that this journey has tested our family’s faith in Christ. Prayers are not always answered the way that we want them to be answered. But our God has his plan. And his plan included so many blessing that we would have missed out on if we had not journeyed through it. I am pleased to announce that our Matthew is walking and talking. He is still challenged but he is continuing with the best of therapies, love, lots of prayers, and most importantly, his family.
Having a brother with special needs has taught me many life lessons. Those include, patience, the importance of being kind to others and to not take anything for granted such as health. I believe that Matthew is an angel sent straight from heaven. How appropriate is his name a “gift from God”. He encourages me to be a light in people’s lives just like he has been in mine. He will always be my hero. Not many people can say they have an angel in their family. We have been blessed.
Here is a photo of my family! I love them all to death. I hope that this post touched you in some way. God Bless!