I have been feeling for many months that I have a story that I need to share with all of you, but have not yet thought of a way to share it effectively. My conclusion is this: I just need to get it out there regardless of the way it is told.
This is the story, from my perspective, about the Poll family (of Eagle Point), my sister and her children.
This story starts on Sept. 1, 2001. My family was blessed on that day with a little angel named Matthew. As we all stood outside the surgery suite craning our necks listening as hard as we could, we heard by brother-in-law, Rob say, “I have a son!” The joy we felt was immeasurable! Very soon Rob carried out this perfect not so little bundle and we were in awe, knowing that this little boy would be something so special.
In the coming weeks and months it was obvious that our first impression was right, we were all totally in love.
Sometime during that first year with Matthew we started to notice that Matt had his own schedule for things. At first we thought this was cute, just a way for Lesley and Rob to be kept on their toes. But after a short time of this we were all left to wonder, “Is there something more there that we are missing?” At that time Rob and Lesley started asking questions of the doctors. It became abundantly clear very early that the questions would never have easy answers.
Many months and years have gone by without any definite answers. Sometimes just more questions. Rob and Lesley have never wavered on their journey with Matthew, always seeming to know when to continue with testing and when to take a break as many of the tests are invasive and painful for Matt. They have also never wavered in their faith in our Lord, knowing the whole time that He has a purpose for Matt that we have yet to discover.
At this time Matt has just celebrated his 8th birthday (where has time gone) and is a gorgeous boy with his blond hair and infectious smile. He is curious, a little mischievous and never fails to make you want to hug him and pull your hair out at the same time.
At this time Matt is considered non-verbal; he only says a few words and is non-conversational. With all the tests and doctors he still is without a diagnoses. He has, through very hard work on the part of his parents, learned most of his letters over the summer. He makes you always wonder what is in his mind that is just waiting to emerge.
Around two years ago Matt started having seizures, a few at first, now progressing to a point that he is on a lot of medications and has had an operation to try to stop them. The seizures unfortunately are not responding to the meds or the nerve stimulator that was implanted. On a number of occasions lately Matt has had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance (we find it unfortunate that Matt doesn’t get to enjoy these trips, I am sure he would love the ambulance) as the seizures will not stop even with all the tools Rob and Lesley have at home to deal with them.
As you can imagine, this whole situation has become very taxing, physically, emotionally and financially for the entire Poll crew. Rob and Lesley get very little sleep, sometimes because of Matt’s needs, sometimes just out of fear of the unknown of what will happen to Matt.
Matt has two sisters that love him more than can even be expressed. They both feel blessed to have him. But as things always happen in these cases, they are sometimes robbed of their childhoods. Annie and Emma are both amazing young girls (I literally think they both may be geniuses, and that is not just from an aunt’s perspective) and I don’t think either one of them would ever complain. I am sure on those nights that mommy and daddy both have to go to the hospital to be with Matt they are left feeling very scared, sad, and just plain wishing that things didn’t happen the way they do.
As a sister, my heart breaks for family. For my sister, because as a mom I don’t even want to imagine the pain of watching her child not being able to play with his own age. The pain of not knowing what the future holds, the pain of watching the paramedics try to put needles in his arm in the middle of his seizure. Next for Rob, I think he had always dreamed of having kids, and has proven everyday to be an amazing dad. He truly excels at parenting. I admire so much that he has taken what his dreams once were for Matt and changed them to what Matt needs now.
My heart also hurts for Annie and Emma. I wish they could have a brother that picks on them, that would wrestle with them and play practical jokes on them. That they could have a brother like the one Lesley and I got to have, that they could teach to walk in high heels and hold down to put make up on him (our poor brother.)
And last, but certainly not least, for my Matty. He is such a gift to all of us. I know the Lord sent him to our family for a reason. I just wish and pray every night that he didn’t have to have the yucky medicine, that he didn’t have to have blood tests, surgeries and MRIs and Cat scans and all of the things that he endures..
I am writing this for a few purposes, to ask all of you for a few things. First, I am asking for prayers for the Polls. I know they feel it when we lift them up in our prayers, and they constantly need that. I am also asking for all of you to come alongside the Polls and let them feel our presence. So many of you have already, for that I will be eternally grateful. Just dropping a quick note is so appreciated by them,. You will never know how much they love it.
Next I am asking for help; financially. Rob and Lesley have been told they can take Matt to Arizona for testing, a treatment that looks very promising. But they have also been told they can expect to be there for at least a couple of weeks. This will be a huge strain on them financially as you can imagine and they would never ask for help. So I am asking for them. Even a few dollars would help with travel expenses. They hope to be able to take the girls as Lesley is not sure she or Rob could be away from them that long.
So please, if you feel led, send them anything you feel you could contribute. If you can’t at this time, I know I can understand that everyone is struggling. Please just drop them a note and let them know they are not alone
Thank you so much for taking time to read this.
Contributions may be made at Wells Fargo for the Matthew Poll Medical Fund. A loving sister and aunt,