For more than five months, Matthew, a nonverbal teenager with autism, lived in a hospital room at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett.
He spent Thanksgiving and Christmas there. He celebrated his 14th birthday there. He also gained over 60 pounds there, according to his mother, raising concerns about his blood pressure and cholesterol.
Matthew didn’t have a medical reason for being in the hospital. Instead, he ended up at Providence Everett after he attacked staff at his group home. His mother, who said Matthew acts out when he gets frustrated, felt she couldn’t safely care for him at home. And the group home wouldn’t take him back. With no other options, Matthew remained stuck in the hospital — until earlier this month.
That’s when he was flown aboard a medical transport plane to South Carolina. His mother and younger brother followed on a commercial flight.