This article provides an insight into Matthew's disabilities and highlights a few very important issues.
Firstly, the devastating effects meningitis can have on an individual. Meningitis is life changing, even when appropriate treatment is provided in a timely manner. Long term effects include brain injury like Matthew has, hearing loss, epilepsy and amputation.
The insight also highlights the limited information available to families when a loved one leaves hospital following a meningitis battle. Matthew's mother here says that when they returned home "they were oblivious to how the disease would affect Matthew.." She also states "there is little information or support groups available in small communities..." It shows the need for charities like Meningitis Now and the invaluable work they carry out to help and support families like Matthew's.
One of the most important issues raised is the limited awareness of hidden disabilities. Matthew's mum says "if you look at my son, you don't see a disability because it's in his brain but just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there." Sadly this isn't the first time a parent has voiced concerns about the issues of a hidden disability, such as with education provision, and the vulnerable position the child is in. One of the most important relationships families should have is with the school and making sure the child has appropriate support and help at school as well as therapy provision.
We act for many children and young adults with a hidden disability as a result of medical negligence, and recognise the importance of getting appropriate support both at school/college and at home, not only to ensure the safety of the child/young adult but also maximise their life chances.
"All children with disabilities should matter, but it appears that if you can't see the disability then it is dismissed. "There should be more information and awareness available in the small towns and communities. You cannot see all disabilities and not all disabilities require disability aids.