Matthew Alvarez

Matthew would receive pre-natal closure surgey while still inside the uterus...

One and a half year old, Mathew was born August 8th, 2009 to parents Christy and Frank of Middleburg, Florida.  While 18 weeks pregnant, Christy and Frank found out that Mathew had spina bifida.  After a lot of research and prayer, they decided to participate in a clinical trial, in which Mathew would receive pre-natal closure surgery while still inside the uterus, at 24 weeks of pregnancy.

The surgery was performed at the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and after three months, while Christy stayed in a Ronald McDonald House near the hospital, Mathew arrived.  After just one week of observation, Mathew was released without any complications.  Since then he has received physical therapy weekly and is maturing into a sweet, outgoing little boy.  His family says "Through this year and a half long journey, there have been numerous people that have touched his life, all in an effort to help Mathew have a normal childhood.  He is truly blessed."

Christy and Frank learned about Spina Bifida of Jacksonville from their OBGYN. They decided to get help from SBJ because they thought they would benefit from the experiences of other families. That has proven to be the case as SBJ has provided them with just that. They have also created an atmosphere that makes Mathew and the other children feel special and welcomed.

So far Mathew has had a typical childhood, albeit with therapy, multiple doctors visits and special equipment.  However, the family knows "[They] are just at the beginning of [their] journey" and are sure that SBJ will be there for them in the future.