My Equipment & Medical Links


The Cough Machine (Cough Assist)

The cough machine  helps Matthew cough by blowing air into his lungs via  a mask. It assists him in coughing more productively. Matthew uses  it every morning and  every night. He uses it more frequently during colds. This machine keeps Matthews lungs stretched  and air ways clearer. This is such a great addition to our respiratory protocol.

The ABI Vest

Matthew wears the vest  and  it fills up with air  and shakes and vibrates. The mucus  loosens and makes it  easier  for him to cough and clear his secretions. This has been such a life saver.


Suction Machine

Clears out secretions from the back of the throat.  He mostly uses for  this  to clear  his nose. There is a yankauer attached to the end of the tubing.

Nebulizer Machine

Nebulizer Breathing Machine administers  meds by  aerosol droplets that go into the lungs via a pari jet.
Matthew uses Xopenex  when really sick and wheezy and cannot get air. He  mostly uses the  saline.
 Matthew has a mask  that attaches  for when he is sleeping and  a treatment is needed. He will take a breathing treatment just to keep  things moist when  he is dry or dehydrated a little.

Pulse Oximeter

Matthews Oximeter measures his oxygen in his blood. Normal levels are around 97-100 %
It has a sensor that is attached to his toe at night. The alarm  goes off if oxygen drops to low levels .  This  tells us to clear his lungs and or do treatments and  his respiratory protocol. We also  have oxygen  in home if needed. We have had to use oxygen 5 times in the past. The oximeter also monitors his  pulse telling us if his heart is working to hard or not  hard enough. This machine has been a really important piece of equipment.

Rifton Blue Wave Bath chair

This is Matthews Bath Chair. He  needs to be supported and strapped in his chair, He has no muscle tone and could not help himself if fallen over. Matthew cannot get his head under water due to his weak cough. Matthew can aspirate water into his lungs and can cause respiratory problems.
He is supervised and assisted  fully while bathing. The bath chairs are  adjustable and have plenty of soft velcro straps  to hold him in place. We use our old chairs that  he  grows out of  for the beach and to play in the sprinklers.


Toilet chair


Matthew has been using Rifton chairs since he was 3 years old. It is very nice because it has adjustable straps and a seat belt and  tray to keep Matt  safe and supported.. It is fully adjustable and washable.
He has a whistle that he blows when he is finished.  We have him on a schedule 1-2 times daily for #2 and never has any constipation problems.  He really had a rough time when he was little. You can use for a shower chair if needed. I would recommend highly. 


Electric Wheelchair


Looking back,  At age 2,  Matthew  said,   Look!   Mom "I can run" and Look!  Mom  "I can walk" 
He was moving his arms as if he was running and walking Excitedly and making sound affects as if his feet were hitting the ground.  
I knew from that Moment he would never walk. It broke my heart. But Mommy  needed  do something. So I checked into getting his an electric chair as he needed some legs.
It was hard to see our little guy in his first wheelchair. But the hurt slowly went away when he got his Power Chair. It  made him  much more happier and independent. Matthew received his first manual chair when he was 1 1/2 yrs old.   He got  his first Electric chair at the age of 3. It was a  Red  Power Tiger. He was so tiny in his big chair. He out grew his chair  again and received a  Yellow power tiger at the age of 6, It was faster and he "could" control the speed. It was a  bit cooler with some extra options like tilt and recline.
Matt received  his Quantum 6000 when he turned 9 .  It has been adapted and accessorized especially for him. 
 He can now get water and ice from the refrigerator. He has an elevator  that can raise him to places he could never reach before. He can reach light switches, counter tops and look out  windows and reach things high up. He has tilt, recline, elevating leg rests. It goes 7 miles an hr, and has ground affect, and head lights. His chair can go up curbs and  spins on a dime. This is Matthews  Cadillac,  He Really loves his chair.  


Ankle Foot Orthotics (AFOs)

Matthew has worn AFOS since he was first diagnosed at 1yrs of age. He is now 10.
The picture shows his first puppy AFOS next to his more recent ones at age 10 Aug 2007.
They keep Matthews feet from turning in. Mainley helps  to keep shoes and slippers on. Most children who have M.D. will have turned in feet to some degree. Matthews feet are getting worse as he is getting older. He doesn't mind his braces and often asks for me to put them on. They also protect his feet. There is surgery to correct  if needed, but I will most likely pass on that for now. 
For more info on Orthotics and SMA children go to:



Matthew's Respiratory protocol when sick

Gearing Up for a Hospital Stay

 Neuromuscular Doctor

Nutritional Guidelines for SMA children