Kiran Matamala, age 11
New Rochelle, NY
At the young age of 10, what started out as simply a headache turned the last 2 years upside down for Kiran Matamala. After recovering from a terrifying emergency surgery for a brain infection, he thought he was on the mend until this year. In April of 2020, Kiran, now 11 years old, started to exhibit signs of epilepsy which progressed quickly from bad to worse. It drastically affected his speech, his thought process and recall, his ability to play soccer, his academics, and his relationships. At its worst, Kiran was suffering from 12-15 epileptic events a day, which simply took over his life.
In June, Kiran spent 2 weeks at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital under the great care of incredible doctors and staff who tried a series of medical treatments to alleviate his seizures. At the end of those 2 weeks, when medicine failed to help, he was deemed a candidate for epilepsy surgery. The doctors didn’t just see Kiran as a patient, but they understood and came to love the boy he was and recognized the boy we lost due to epilepsy. They worked tirelessly to determine the best approach for Kiran’s surgery, reaching deep within their network of peers for guidance and counsel.
(Above Left - Kiran is pictured with Dr. Michael Tobias from Maria Fareri Children's Hospital.)
His doctors brought him back to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in August for a 2 part surgery – the first was to determine where the seizure activity was stemming from in the brain and the second was to remove the portion of the brain causing the seizures. Recovery from the surgery was lengthy and difficult and yet incredibly through it all, Kiran demonstrated unwavering strength and determination. He was positive, resilient and tough as nails; he taught us all about pushing through the hard times, about digging in to do more at weak moments, to love and to trust. Surrounded by his loving family and a dedicated team of doctors and nurses who were by his side, literally day and night, Kiran was finally released to come home. We are thrilled to say he has been epilepsy free for over 6 weeks and (hopefully) counting! He is once again returning to that bright-eyed, funny, intelligent and loving boy we all missed.
Although he still has a long road to recovery and another major surgery in the near future, Kiran is currently enjoying 6th grade at his new school, Iona Prep in New Rochelle and continues to get stronger every day. He is very excited to get back to playing soccer and maybe even cheering at a live game at Iona College! (At right, Kiran is pictured with the Iona College Soccer Team.)
We are eternally grateful for all the love and care by Dr. Michael Tobias, Dr. Juliann Paolicchi, Dr. Philip Overby, Dr. Steven Wolfe, Patty McGoldrick and the rest of the incredible doctors, residents, PICU nurses and the Childlife team at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.