Help for families with special needs kids

September 15, 2008 11:29:01 AM PDT
It's the story of a parent's love and hope. One family, facing a devastating diagnosis for their child, and his condition so rare, it puzzles doctors. But they're not giving up. And now, there is new help available for other Chicago families like the Matusik family in Naperville.Five-year-old Sam Matusik's life is not what his parents had envisioned. It was his mom's second pregnancy. Lynn and Frank Matusik already had healthy twins Stephen and Joseph. Everything was normal until Sam was born at 37 weeks.

"There was some...induced labor?he wasn't breathing," Lynn Matusik said.

"You don't know what happened...you don't know what to think or what to do," Frank Matusik said.

Though no ultrasound showed it, Sam had a paralyzed diaphragm and complex chromosome abnormalities.

Sam is now on oxygen 24 hours a day, seven days week. He cannot walk, talk or eat on his own, but he is loved unconditionally.

"We love our child. We'll do anything, everything, to make sure he's happy and healthy," the boy's mother said.

"Probably the scariest part is the unknown. Some doctors won't see him because it's too complicated," said Frank Matusik.

Finding information about Sam's condition has been a huge challenge. But now there is a new resource available, a publication called Chicago Special Parent, which launched Monday.

Editor Tamara O'Shaughnessy visits ABC7 Chicago to talk about the publication and what it means to families with special needs children.

For more information, visit chicagoparent.com


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