Matthew Riddle III of Louisville, Kentucky, was able to fit in the palm of his parents’ hands when he was born weighing only 1 pound 2 ounces, yet he wasn’t “preemie.”
At seven months, he now weighs a little over 3 pounds. Many still assume that he is only a newborn. However, WLKY-TV met with the little boy to have a talk about his diagnosis. It appears he has endured a rather extraordinary journey from the NICU to a happy, healthy home life.
Matthew’s journey began back when doctors first figured out that something wasn’t right during Jenevieve Cook’s pregnancy. At 28 weeks she was induced. Baby Matthew was born and spent a total of 98 days in the NICU.
Jenevieve opened up about the early days saying, “Before we got discharged, they said he had microcephaly. We were told Matthew would not live very long, to not expect the value of life.”
In the next two months, the family were informed Matthew had MOPD Type 2, which is a rare form of primordial dwarfism.
“We were told Matthew would walk, he would talk, he would go to school,” Jenevieve revealed. “He would just be extraordinarily small.”
Matthew’s parents dressed him in clothes made for dolls and “Build-A-Bear” teddy bears. The clothes fit him well and Matthew is comfy now since clothing for newborns is still too big.
Jenevieve shared all the responses that they get from strangers. “We get, ‘Was he just born 5 minutes ago?’” Others have even asked, “Why is he so small?”
Matthew received his treatment in Delaware but had to be sent to California in order to receive skull surgery. He was diagnosed with moyamoya, a progressive, cerebrovascular disorder caused by blocked arteries in the brain. There was also a risk of strokes and brain aneurysms, so time was very important.
“We do get a lot of people who are encouraging, and they’re kind,” Jenevieve said. “But we also get a lot of people that are just beyond belief. They’re shocked when they see him.”
“Matthew will be just like everybody else,” Jenevieve explained. “‘He’ll be out there throwing the ball like a regular kid, he’s just extra small.”
His family are spreading the story of his survival, in a hope that others will be inspired by him.
Matthew’s two older brothers are very supportive of their little brother and want to make sure he grows up feeling normal, capable, happy and accepted. “There is nothing wrong with just being different,” Jenevieve affirmed.
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