Success Story: 5-year-old Matt is beating all odds - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Success Story: 5-year-old Matt is beating all odds

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - When we first introduced you to Matt he was two-years-old and doctors didn't know if he would ever walk, talk or comprehend the world around him. But Matt is astounding his new dad every day.

To understand how incredible it is to see five-year-old Matt responding to his dad's questions, you have to know where Matt started.

When I first met matt three years ago, the little boy, who is visually impaired with unexplained head trauma, had very little upper body strength. His 68-year-old foster mom Sue was worried he would soon grow too big for her to carry and finding Matt a forever home was crucial.

The man who would later become Matt's dad happened to see that Adopt 8 story.

“That's how I first saw him. When I saw it, I thought what a great little boy.”

That was in 2011 and Rick had already adopted one son, Brody, and wanted him to have a sibling, but his social worker said Matt had already been matched with a family. Still, Rick couldn't get Matt out of his mind.

“I kept watching that tape, watching that tape. I watched it like 100 times and then at the end of the year, I saw the News 8 in review and he was still on there and I called her and said, I said I thought you said he was adopted. And she said, they changed their mind,” explained Rick.

So Rick moved forward to adopt Matt, despite his grim prognosis.

“His prognosis was that he would be six-months-old, developmentally, for the rest of his life and that he would just lie on the floor and do nothing, he'd never walk, he'd never talk. But Rick had high hopes for his son. Not only can Matt talk, a few months ago, he began to crawl.

“And all of a sudden he crawled down the stairs and I'm like how did you get there, then he turned around and crawled back up, and I'm like wow,” said Rick.

Just recently, Matt beat all odds, making huge strides. He is now able to walk with a gait trainer.

“With consistency, and just encouragement, he's just done amazing things,” added Rick. “And I think we have a lot more to go. His walking is incredible.”

A life-changing surgery gave Matt the gift of mobility.

“They did muscle lengthening, here, here, here, double cast for a month,” said Rick. “Now he can bend, we're not so stiff, because that was the issue.”

Rick says both Matt and Brody, who's been diagnosed with highly functioning autism, are in preschool and are thriving.

A true success story, which Rick hopes will inspire others to adopt and be a champion for children.

If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.

CBS News 8 would also like to thank Boomers San Diego for hosting a fun day at the park.

Matt's dad would also like to give a special thanks to his son's pre-school, especially his teachers Miss Nancy and Miss Corrina, for their help in purchasing Matt's gait trainer so he can walk.

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