Family and friends of a 10-year-old Saco boy who suffered a severe brain injury in December are now raising money for the cost of his care at a Boston hospital.
Matthew Cox was riding a zip line at the Massachusetts home of his aunt and uncle Dec. 26 when a tree attached to the line snapped and fell on him. Since then, he has remained in a coma in the intensive care unit at Boston Children’s Hospital, said his uncle Chris Dupill, whose Easton, Mass., home was the site of the accident.
More than 74,000 people have visited a Web page devoted to Matthew’s recovery. The family is accepting donations through a sharingcounts.com account in his name.
“Matt is a good student, an active member of his local parish and an all-around super kid,” his family wrote in its plea for financial contributions. His medical costs are “astronomical,” they said.
Matthew’s family moved to Maine from Hanover, Mass., last summer after Bill Cox, Matthew’s father, was hired at a financial company in Portland.
The family built a home in Saco that was completed in September and was eager to move in and a start life in Maine, said Dupill.
A spokeswoman for Boston Children’s Hospital said Saturday that Matthew was listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Big for his age and strong, Matthew was a blossoming athlete who played sports constantly, Dupill said. His favorite was hockey, at which he excelled.
New to the Maine youth hockey community, Matthew was the No. 1 pick in the Casco Hockey Association season that began in October.
Cade Blackburn, who coaches the Avalanche team in the squirts age group, remembered seeing the unfamiliar name, and then looked at the results of Matthew’s skills test, which was the best in the league. Blackburn drafted him onto his team immediately.
He was easy to coach and listened well to instructions, Blackburn said. Before the accident, Blackburn was working with Matthew to be more aggressive and physical on the ice. A head taller than his teammates and competitors, the boy seemed careful around others, Blackburn said.
“He’s your normal 10-year-old kid – comes to the rink with a smile on his face,” the coach said. “We always joked that in the middle of winter he shows up in shorts. And his dad would joke, ‘You know, I try.’ ”
On Saturday, Thornton Academy hockey players planned to wear Matthew’s jersey number, 14, on their helmets, but the game was canceled because of the snowstorm. It was to be the latest tribute to the boy, whose picture was also featured on the big screen at a recent Frozen Fenway event at Fenway Park in Boston.
Matthew’s condition has remained dire since he was hospitalized in December, Dupill said. His mother, father and two sisters have been at his bedside since he was hospitalized.
“He’s pretty much been the same since he got there,” Dupill said. “They’re really just hoping for a miracle.”
Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at: