Paralysed 8-year-old to receive at-home physiotherapy sessions

Matthew Zaman before the accident

Matthew Zaman, the eight-year-old boy who has been bedridden for almost six months after he was struck down by a minibus along the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) Public Road, will be undergoing physiotherapy sessions, which are being facilitated by the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre, at his home.

Bibi Shanaz Khan on Monday told Stabroek News that Matthew, her son, underwent his first therapy session on Saturday, after which arrangements were made to have him receive the other sessions in the comfort of their Felicity, Railway Embankment, ECD home.

She said while the days for the sessions have not yet been fixed, a schedule will be decided upon.

Matthew Zaman’s present condition

A few days before Christmas last year, Matthew was struck down by a minibus, leaving him paralysed. The former student of the La Bonne Intention Primary School can no longer eat, speak, walk, or even breathe on his own.

He is currently being fed through his nose via a tube, and breathes through an intrusion in his neck. He is unable to sit and lays prostrate, unable to bend or move any parts of his body. He, however, does respond to his mother’s voice by rolling his eyes.

Khan explained that since her son’s plight was recently highlighted by this newspaper, she has received tremendous support from members of the public.

She said a number of persons visited and called and they offered donations which included items that will aid Matthew’s wellbeing. Additionally, she noted that she has also received monetary donations which were placed directly into a bank account set up to ensure the child’s wellbeing.

SHEA Charity, a non-profit organisation, had set up a GoFundMe account to help raise funds for Matthew, a total of US$10,207 was raised out of the goal amount of US$35,000.

President and founder of SHEA Charity Lori Narine had previously explained to Stabroek News that Matthew’s present condition has led the organisation to believe that with advanced medical treatment, he may be able to regain some mobility.  “This is our hope, but we cannot say what the outcome will be. We are working with doctors in the US and Guyana to determine treatment course, and if advanced medical intervention would help him,” Narine had said.

“If he can benefit from treatment in the US, funds raised will be used for all expenses relating to his medical treatment, including, medical evacuation, housing, meals, medication, medical expenses, living expenses, etc,” she had explained, while noting that if he cannot benefit from such treatment, the funds raised would be used to make him as comfortable as possible in Guyana.

Narine said too that SHEA was also hoping to purchase an adjustable medical bed, medical supplies, medication, therapy, and provide enough money for Khan to care of Matthew, since they currently reside in a small home without an electricity supply.

Stabroek News had reported that the driver of the bus that struck Matthew, Andrew Albert, has since been charged with dangerous driving and has been released on $100,000 bail while his trial is underway.

Following the accident, Matthew was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH), where he was admitted for a lengthy period. Khan had said that doctors told her that he had sustained head injuries, a fractured skull, swelling and bleeding of the brain, and spinal injuries as a result of the accident. She also related that doctors told her that Matthew had a chance of survival but they couldn’t guarantee that he would be the child he used to be before. Since then, he has been attending the clinic at the GPH’s Neurosurgery Department.