Local Boy Overcoming Obstacles
MEDFORD, N.J. - November 25, 2011 (WPVI) -- November is awareness month for many causes including epilepsy.
Matthew's story is one of a young boy with the disorder; a young man who is working hard to conquer some challenges, and his therapy is linked to a former Philadelphia Eagle.
10-year-old Matthew Meyers is training. He's working on his balance, hand-eye coordination, and getting quicker and stronger.
He's not training for a sport. He's training to counter-act some challenges. His mother tells us when Matthew was five, he started having severe seizures.
"I happened to be in his kindergarten Christmas party, and I saw it in progress, his mouth came open and juice fell out and his little hands went up," Jeanne Meyers of Medford, New Jersey said.
At the emergency room, she says he continued to have seizures and was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy.
"I felt like I had been kicked, gosh I could cry, but it wasn't cancer and it could be treated," she said.
But after medication failed, eventually Matthew needed surgery. It stopped the seizures, but left him with vision problems in his left eye and weakness on his left side, affecting his balance.
Instead of seeking traditional physical therapy, his mother looked elsewhere and found "7 Deuce Sports." It's a gym opened and operated by former Philadelphia Eagle Tra Thomas.
"I know people automatically come in and think it's just going to be for athletes, but it's not. That is just a small portion of what we do," Thomas said.
Trainer Ryan Wilkins came up with kid-friendly exercises that would work Matthew's nervous system. He says Matthew wasn't always quick. "He rocked a lot, would fall off, he really wasn't catching many balls," he said.
But after 8 sessions in four weeks, Ryan says Matthew is stronger and has control of his balance.
His mom has also noticed a difference.
"I notice it, because now he will get on a skateboard. He would have never tried that before," she said.
His confidence is also soaring. Ryan says at first, Matthew was extremely shy, but now he walks in "like he owns the place."
And for Matthew, all the hard work is worth it. "I feel recharged after a long day at school," he said.
His mother says Matthew will continue training with Ryan and is also going to try playing tennis.
If you would like more information on 7 Deuce Sports, visit: http://www.7deucesports.com/
And for more information on Epilepsy and local resources, visit: http://www.efepa.org/
new jersey, exercise, health care, philadelphia eagles, healthcheck, ali gorman, r.n.
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