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PATIENT STORIES

Meet Matthew

“Why does this have to happen to me?” This is a question asked by eight-year-old Matthew who has endured an exhausting three months of needles, examinations and hospital visits.
Matthew is a bright young boy who is very active at school. He loves playing sport, tutors the smaller children and reads bible stories to them. One morning he complained about having chest pains to his father, Michail.
Worried about the cause of his chest pains, the family sought medical care immediately. Doctors and nurses at Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital discovered that he had a tumour the size of a hand on his liver and he was referred to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital for specialised care.
After a week of tests and observations in Hospital, the doctors explained that Matthew would need an operation. It was a long and exhausting nine-hour procedure that left his family anxiously waiting for good news. Matthew’s father was shocked to hear that they had to remove almost 70% of his liver.
After the operation, Matthew spent three days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where he recovered well. Eventually he could sit up and soon after, started to walk around and was finally discharged.
A few weeks later, Matthew complained to his parents about experiencing excruciating pains in his stomach. The pain was so severe that he couldn’t stop crying. It was heart breaking for Michail to see his son in so much pain.
The next morning they travelled to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital where doctors treated Matthew for the pain in his stomach. They struggled, however, to find the cause. Matthew also began experiencing seizures. During one seizure that lasted 80 minutes, Matthew was moved to the ICU once again.
Doctors discovered that Matthew’s blood pressure was very high and his sodium levels were low, which was putting pressure on the brain, causing him to have the seizures. They immediately tried to push his sodium levels up and lower his blood pressure. With a diagnosis, they could treat him accordingly, to the relief of his family.
“Red Cross is a very good hospital. The doctors were able to help us and worked endlessly, trying their best to treat Matthew. We appreciate it very much,” says Michail.
Mathew is finally pain free and able to eat again, His liver is also growing very well. Michail says, “There was a time when Matthew would thank all of the doctors and nurses as if he was saying goodbye but I keep telling him I am not leaving this Hospital without him.”
It has been a long journey but Matthews’s father Michail says that he won’t give up until his son has fully recovered.

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