When Matthew was one and a half years old, doctors discovered that he did not have a spleen. Unable to fight certain types of infections, Matthew was diagnosed with sepsis. Within a few days, all four of his limbs were removed to save his life.
But Matthew would not let this disability deter him from pursuing his goals.
Matthew picked up a passion for gaming at a young age. From there, he found success in esports, even becoming a semi-pro StarCraft player for a while. He now hopes to someday use his law degree to help others with disabilities in the world of esports and live-streaming.
Along this journey, Matthew’s mother Cheri has been by his side as a personal care assistant (PCA). For 23 years, their family has worked with Accra to ensure Matthew has the support and services he needs to unlock his full potential.
“Accra has been absolutely vital in getting to where I am today. I definitely would not be here without them,” Matthew said. “They are the ones who have enabled my independence.”
In addition to helping Matthew live his life to the fullest, Cheri appreciates the positive impact Accra’s services and PCAs have made on the family as a whole.
“I don’t think we’d be intact as a family without services from Accra,” Cheri said. “Having personal care attendants and services from Accra allowed us to concentrate on each of our kids, so we could be a family together.”
To hear more about Matthew and Cheri’s Accra story, check out the video below.
Matthew’s Story – Transcript
Matthew: When I was about one and a half years old, we discovered that I was born without a spleen. Because I didn’t have a spleen, it meant that my body couldn’t fight certain types of infections. I ended up with one of these infections and I went septic. Within just a few days, they had to remove all four of my limbs.
Cheri: We’ve been with Accra I think for about 23 years. It provides additional support when you’re in a very stressful situation. Having personal care attendants and services from Accra, it allowed us to be able to concentrate on each of our kids. So we could be a family together.
Andrew: It’s a very people-oriented service. So having the people that come into your home and work with your own family; it’s really important to be able to trust the people.
Matthew: For me, PCAs are companions. You know, PCAs come and go. And even when times have been really tough for us in terms of finding PCAs and keeping PCAs, Accra has always been there to help.
Cheri: I think Accra has been great. I think it has given us the freedom to help Matthew access his world.
Matthew: Eventually, I’d like to do something in eSports; competitive video gaming. And I felt what better way to do that, than to go to law school, trying to help other people with disabilities who are currently in the world of eSports, gaming, and live streaming. So at the moment, I am studying for the bar exam. I think that the best part about working with Accra has been that they have been advocates for us reliably for so many years.
Cheri: And I don’t think we would be intact as a family without services from Accra Care.
Matthew: Accra has been absolutely vital in getting to where I am today. I definitely would not be here without them. They’re the ones that have enabled my independence.