Boy who slept for two weeks; WHEN LITTLE MATTHEW, 5, WOKE UP HE WAS UNABLE TO WALK OR TALK.
Byline: Craig Thompson Chief Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org @craigjourno
LIKE a character from a fairytale, little Matthew Burgess fell asleep and would not wake up.
For two weeks the poorly fiveyear-old was in a deep sleep as his frantic parents waited by his hospital bedside.
When he did finally wake, Matthew had lost all ability to walk and talk - and doctors suspected he was suffering from a mystery brain bug.
Mum Michelle Scott, 30, said: "For two weeks he slept and, when he did stir, he appeared to be in pain. It was horrible.
"We didn't know if he was going to wake up. We didn't know what was wrong with him."
Matthew was just like any other reception age pupil until February 4 this year when he woke up with a high temperature and feeling sick.
Mum Michelle and dad Martin Burgess, 30, decided a day on the settee was in order for the Grace Darling Campus pupil. But Matthew fell asleep and the couple struggled to wake him.
By 10pm the family from Newbiggin by the Sea were becoming increasingly worried and an ambulance was called to take Matthew to Cramlington Hospital. Medics began treating the youngster for meningitis, but as he kept slipping into sleep, they decided he should be referred to specialists at Newcastle's Great North Children's Hospital.
Tests would reveal there was no meningitis but Matthew was suffering from swelling on the brain. "They told us it could be some kind of brain disorder," said Michelle, also mum to Emma, two.
After two weeks, Matthew began to become more alert but, to the shock of his family, he had lost the ability to walk, talk, or even sit up.
Michelle said: "It was awful. At first we didn't know if he would wake up, then he had to learn to walk and talk all over again. It's been the worst time of my life."
Brain specialists are continuing to carry out tests on Matthew, believing he could be possibly suffering from mitochondrial disease, a group of disorders caused by dysfunctional mitochondria.
The family are now waiting for more news from doctors.
Meanwhile pupils at Matthew's school, Grace Darling Campus, part of Northumberland Church of England Academy, are taking part in a Mile for Matthew today.
All money raised from the charity run will go towards the Brain Research Trust and the Children's Ward at the Great North Children's Hospital.
Matthew Burgess and top right with sister Emma, mum Michelle and dad Martin