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Always a fighter: Matthew David needs a kidney now

by Charlotte Parrish

Lorna David’s voice does not waiver or break when she tells me, “Matthew was read his last rites as my infant son, but somehow he survived and I know there’s a reason he’s still here.”

Her voice does start to tremble when she says, “It is so hard to get him to eat and drink enough every day as all food tastes like metal and he can get very dehydrated. He takes 30 pills twice a day. I am so proud of him going to community college every day to study digital and graphic arts, but he is exhausted and has to cut back.”

Matthew was born prematurely at 30 weeks on Lorna’s birthday. He was born with renal failure and while he was not supposed to live, he seemed hungry after all the life support was removed, and then came the miracle of baby Matthew passing some fluids.

He was moved to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for six weeks during which time Lorna was found to be a match for a kidney transplant, and Matthew became the youngest kidney transplant recipient at CHOP on April 12th, 2000. 

Now at age 19, Matthew is in the later stages of chronic kidney failure, a sad but real consequence for organ recipients.

While he struggles to get through every day, Lorna describes him as loving, gentle, never one to complain, and an ‘old soul.’

He loves comic books, video games, and old music – from big bands to hits of the 80’s.

He loves animals and still manages to volunteer for ‘Furever Yours,’ a local dog rescue group.

Matthew graduated from Pennridge High School with honors and is in the National Honor Society.

He is very close to his two siblings – an older sister and younger brother.

Everyone around Matthew and his family knows now is the time to make sure he gets to keep fighting for his life as he has done so miraculously for 19 years.

He needs a blood type ‘O’ kidney donor – positive or negative.

If you are interested in seeing if you are a donor, visit www.pennmedicine.org/for-patients-and-visitors/find-a-program-or-service/transplant-institute/living-kidney-donor-transplant, or at least please share the Facebook post below and spread the word as much as you can.

Matthew’s blood type makes it harder to find a donor.

Matthew has a three- to five-year wait on the official donor list for his age category, with 102,000 people waiting for that donor news.

We are also trying to organize an awareness event or other ways to spread the word.

Please stay tuned at “Matthew David Needs a Kidney” on Facebook, or contact Lorna on Matthew’s hotline at 215-500-0560, or at matthewsgiftoflife@gmail.com.

A website at matthewskidney.org is also underway. PHOTO CAP: Matthew David