Teenager defies medical experts

A TEENAGER who was given only a 50-50 chance of survival after he broke his neck in two places and badly damaged his spinal cord has astounded doctors and his family with his remarkable progress.

A TEENAGER who was given only a 50-50 chance of survival after he broke his neck in two places and badly damaged his spinal cord has astounded doctors and his family with his remarkable progress.

Sports-mad Matthew Moore suffered his terrible injury diving from a trampoline into a swimming pool at his home in Clay Common, Frostenden, near Southwold.

For months his life hung in the balance as he remained on a ventilator in intensive care at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, his mother Carol recalling the doctor's grim prognosis at the time as 'very bad'.

But over 14 agonising months, Matthew, a talented sportsman who played rugby for Southwold under-14s and football for St Benet's Wasps in Beccles, has consistently confounded doctors' predictions.


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Mrs Moore, 49, said: 'We were told that Matt would never breathe again unaided and that he would need the use of a ventilator via a tracheotomy.

'However, he has had no intervention from his ventilator since July and had his tracheotomy removed in September. That was a big boost for him because it means he can now do the things that 'normal' 14-year-olds do like going for a burger with his brothers or making a trip to the cinema.'

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Matthew, who was able to start at Sir John Leman High School, Beccles, in September, a year later than scheduled, has now entered the new year determined to proved doctors wrong again - by walking.

Mrs Moore, who is disabled herself after two strokes, said: 'Because his spinal cord was not severed there was always some hope, although doctors said the likelihood of him walking again was very slim.

'Due to his dedication and that of his carers, his mobility has improved greatly. From the first little flutters in his toes a year ago he can now flex and straighten both his legs from the knee on his own.

'He is saying he will get out of his wheelchair and if anyone can, he will.'

She said Matthew, who has three older brothers and lives with his father Richard, had been an inspiration to the whole family in the way he had battled back after months in Addenbrooke's and a further lengthy stay at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

One example of his determination was how he had learned to write perfectly left-handed after strength returned to the left side of his body better than his right.

And despite months in hospital, he had still been able to enter high school in the right year group because he had kept up with his studies so well.

Mrs Moore, who lives in Oulton Broad, has pledged to keep raising money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance after it took just four minutes to get her son to hospital after the accident in August 2007.

She said Matthew, who will be going back to Stoke Mandeville later this month for two weeks of further tests and therapy, had been helped by his 'fantastic' brothers, encouraging him with his physiotherapy and just being there.

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