“I’m so thankful that I went to palliative care because I feel supported and prepared. It’s really important to have people who listen and take initiative when you need help.”

Matt's Diagnosis: Fourteen years ago, a severe car accident left Matt paralyzed from the upper chest down. While his diaphragm wasn’t paralyzed in the accident, it was weakened significantly, which has caused Matt to have breathing problems that have grown progressively worse over time. Those issues coupled with severe nerve pain and the emotional stress of dealing with the traumatic events of the accident have been a daily struggle.

Matt's Palliative Care Story: After a recent hospitalization, Matt and his family asked if there was something more that could be done to help with the many symptoms involved with his physical issues. So they asked for palliative care.

The palliative care team put a focus on finding the right balance of medications that could keep Matt from feeling severe pain, and could also keep him from suffering from the side effects. While Matt has made a lot of progress, stress and anxiety are also ongoing issues he faces every day. Knowing he can speak with the palliative care team has given him a crucial outlet on the harder days. With his pain managed and his stress under control, Matt is is taking things one step at a time and focused on setting small goals like getting outside.

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