Paralyzed boy slowly regains mobility with therapy


By Devina Samaroo

Hope is not lost for eight-year-old Matthew Zaman who was left paralyzed after he was struck down by a minibus outside of his Felicity, East Coast Demerara (ECD) home in December 2017.

With help from physiotherapists attached to the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre, Matthew has shown little signs of improvement, regaining some amount of mobility.

His mother, Shanaz Khan, is hoping that one day, her baby boy will make a full recovery.

When News Room visited the family about a month ago, Matthew was fixed in a stiff position, unable to move his body even the slightest.

But today, the young boy can sit in an upright position with assistance; his arms and legs can now be flexed. Even his facial muscles are showing some signs of movement.

Shanaz Khan

Shanaz, a mother of eight, is overjoyed that her son is getting better. She has accepted that her baby boy may never fully recover, but she hopes that he can one day walk again.

“I hope and I got all the hope that Matthew will walk again. If he can’t walk back, then he must be in a chair where I could push him around where we could laugh and play,” Shanaz expressed.

Physiotherapist, Vanessa Wickham told News Room that Matthew started therapy about one month ago. Wickham said the young boy has what is known medically as a “decerebrate posture’.

Online medical journals explain that a decerebrate posture is an abnormal body posture that involves the arms and legs being held straight out, the toes being pointed downward, and the head and neck being arched backwards. The muscles are tightened and held rigidly.

Wickham said this type of posturing usually means there has been severe damage to the brain.

Vanessa Wickham

She explained that though Matthew’s condition has improved, the child’s journey to recovery will be long. The therapy is being done through weekly home visits on a pro bono basis.

For Shanaz, she is devastated about her child’s situation but she remains hopeful.

Shanaz is still hoping to receive overseas medical treatment for her son. She has also expressed sincere gratitude to everyone who has assisted little Matthew.

Matthew was left paralyzed after he was struck down by a speeding minibus outside of their home.

The driver of the minibus was charged and released on bail.

Persons desirous of reaching out to the family can call 659-6766.

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