I was in the city working at a client’s office with Larry, one of the partner’s who I respect very much and enjoy working with and I remember being excited for Matthew this morning as he was going on a school field trip to the nature preserve at Long Beach with his 1st grade class. It was October of 2005 and the day was a beautiful one. Call me a nervous father but it always seemed no matter what the occasion I would always think about my son while at work. Maybe it’s because he’s our only child and I am very over protective of him as is Maria. The day started as any working day. I dressed in a rush, skipped breakfast, kissed my wife and son goodbye, wished them a good day, told them I love them and headed off to meet Larry at our central meeting place to carpool though he always drives when I meet him. We were scheduled at 3 clients offices so I anticipated a very busy day. We arrived at the first client’s office at about 10:00 am where my first order of business was to complete the bank reconciliations and prepare the quarterly payroll taxes. Everything was going smoothly as I quickly reconciled the 3 months of activity. I printed our copy and a copy for the client which I attached to each month’s bank statement. Then I printed the necessary reports to prepare the payroll tax returns. After calculating the payroll and completing our excel spreadsheet I started preparing the returns. After completing both returns I made a copy and then gave the owner the mailing copies. As soon as I headed back to pack up my computer my cell phone rang. It was a call from Matthew’s teacher.
I asked if everything was ok and she told me that Matthew had a seizure and was taken to Long Beach Hospital and that I should make plans to get there and that he was being observed by the medical staff and they would stay with him until Maria or I arrive. I asked if he fell or hurt himself as a result of the seizure and she said that he was holding her hand when it happened and they managed to keep him safe and immediately called 911 emergency. I was quite worried as he had a seizure previously and now it seemed he would be affected more by them and have to be prescribed depacote regularly to control them. Larry and the client arranged a car service to take me to the hospital where Matthew was being observed. I was very appreciative and they told me to take it easy and go see my son. I said thank you and headed down to the street to await my ride. I was feeling tense and not sure what to expect. I was worrying that this might happen and felt sad that Matthew has a seizure disorder. He’s just a little kid and he has some struggles. My parents always told me that life offers many challenges and we must adapt and learn to meet every one and do our very best. My biggest challenge is getting the proper care for our son. I do not like the helpless feeling we as parents sometimes feel when we put all our faith and trust in others but really that is sometimes the only choice we have.
I tried to reach Maria to see if she was at the hospital or on her way. As I left a message for her my ride arrived and I greeted the driver and told him I needed a ride to Long Beach Hospital where my son was being observed. He was very friendly and told me not to worry and he’d have me there soon. I said thank you as I took my seat and tried to relax for the ride as I did not want to get stressed but felt very worried about my poor baby.
I remember when we went to Schneider’s the last time they indicated that if he has another seizure then we would be wise to take him back there to be monitored over night. I was writing notes about Matthew’s medical condition and his history and all the medications he’s currently prescribed. I was wondering how Matthew was doing and hoping he is feeling ok. I was praying that he will come through this and will be fine. When your child is hospitalized it just seems so unsettling and your mind races and all you can do is worry about your child’s safety and hope you find the right doctor to help them.
The driver came through for me and got me to the hospital in less than 45 minutes as promised and I asked how much I owed him and he said payment was arranged so I gave him $10 for his tip and said thank you and he wished me and my son good luck. I then proceeded to the main entrance to see where my son was. The staff administrator pointed me to emergency and I walked quickly finally arriving and asking the nurse at the nursing station where Matthew Iannielli was and she pointed a few doors down. As I arrived I saw Matthew lying on the bed sleeping and his teacher and assistant teacher standing by his side. I thanked them for staying with him and asked how he was. They said he was sleeping the whole time since the seizure and resting comfortably. I was so grateful for them being there comforting our son and I felt I was not alone. My wife arrived shortly thereafter and we were waiting for the doctor to confirm what could have happened. I walked over to my son by his bed and gently kissed him and hoped he would be ok as I had so much love in my heart for him and felt the need to protect him and comfort him and be the best dad I can be. My wife and I stood by his side as the doctor came to talk with us and he said they were working on the paperwork to have him transferred from Long Beach Hospital to Schneider’s Childrens’ Hospital. He also confirmed that Matthew had a grand mal seizure and was resting comfortably and he encouraged us to have him monitored and to consider having an MRI scan and that we should raise this with Matthew’s doctor’s at Schneider’s. We were waiting for the ambulance to take Maria and our son and I planned to drive my wife’s car to the hospital.
I was now preparing to meet with Matthew’s team of doctor’s at Schneider’s and determine our next step. It all seemed so overwhelming and I thought back to my dad and all the strength he had during moments like these and I took a deep breath and gave myself a little encouragement as my dad would and headed over to Schneider’s after learning that the ambulance had left to transport my wife and son.