Memorial Day Reflections

Happy Memorial Day! We love a good three-day weekend around here. And Memorial Day weekend has extra significance for Matt and his family.

Nine years ago, Matt moved from Houston to Portland with his wife and baby daughter. They were eager to get established in their new city. About four weeks after the move—amid the hunt for the perfect work studio (Matt’s not one to compromise)—he woke up one morning with tingly hands and feet. As the week progressed, the tingling worked its way up his limbs, and by the end of the week, he had trouble walking and lifting his arms. Something was very wrong.

It was Memorial Day weekend nine years ago that Matt was admitted to the ER for Guillain- Barre Syndrome, an unusual autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the nervous system, causing temporary paralysis.

He spent the next two months in the hospital and a rehab center, where he was cared for while the Guillain-Barre ran its course. At his lowest, Matt couldn’t walk, lift his arms, grip a toothbrush, or write. He even had trouble chewing, swallowing and digesting food. After time in inpatient rehab, he was sent home in a wheelchair and spent the next two months regaining his strength.

Meanwhile, his wife worked to sustain the aspects of Ekko Mobiles that she could (which was mostly updating potential clients about his progress). Mobile-making is a surprisingly physical endeavor, and they had no idea whether Matt would fully recover, making it was a time of great uncertainty. Even once Matt was home from the hospital, it required patience as he regained his strength and ability to work.

By September, made his first mobile, post-Guillain-Barre. By October, Matt was fully functional. And by November, he found the perfect studio (where he’s still working from today). The rest is history.

So each Memorial Day, before enjoying burgers and potato chips, Matt and his family pause to appreciate good health, modern medicine, Matt's mobile-making abilities, and the joy in everyday life.

Matt and his daughter, nearly nine years ago, learning to walk together.

Matt and his daughter, nearly nine years ago, learning to walk together.