Jared, 2 1/2 , finally leaves hospital Dozen operations put some organs inside his body

October 07, 1992|By Knight-Ridder Newspapers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- After surviving a dozen major operations during which surgeons put some of his organs back inside his body, a near-fatal bout of respiratory infection and a lifetime spent in the hospital, 2 1/2 -year-old Jared Matthews finally has gone home.

Sort of.

Because Jared must remain hooked to tubes and machines and needs around-the-clock medical care, he was driven yesterday to a medical foster home in Eden Prairie, Minn., rather than to his parents' home in Minneapolis.

He will remain there until sometime next summer, when he will return to the hospital for one final major operation that will free him from his respirator and feeding tube and allow him to live a normal life with his brother and three sisters.

"His prognosis is very good, actually," said Dr. John McNamara, a pulmonologist at Minneapolis Children's Medical Center, where Jared was taken shortly after he was born on June 11, 1990.

"In terms of his development potential, it's excellent."

Jared's parents, Susan Larson and Oscar Matthews, did not suspect that their son would be born with a rare complication called giant omphalocele. Infants born with the defect have their stomachs, intestines and bladders located outside their abdominal walls.

"It was quite a shock," Susan Larson said yesterday.

In a series of major operations, surgeons moved his abdominal organs inside his body, hooked him permanently to a respirator, installed a feeding tube in his stomach and repaired a hole in his heart.

Jared's medical bills, which exceed $100,000 a month, are being paid by a federally funded medical program for low-income families.

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