“Matty is one of the youngest diagnosed cases of COPD”
Mattingly, or Matty for short, is a rarity in the medical world. When she was only 2 years old, Matty was diagnosed with severe viral-induced asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She is one of the youngest diagnosed cases of COPD in the world.
The life-threatening, chronic disorder is a serious lung disease that compromises lung function and causes Matty’s right lung to enter into a spastic state of tightening during an attack. As a result of her dangerous condition, it’s very hard for her to enjoy playing like a normal child. Her family and teachers have to be constantly aware of the weather to check if she can safely play outside without the threat of an asthmatic episode.
Something as simple as a cold or a change in the weather can cause Matty to end up in the hospital; she visited 25 times by the time she was 5 years old. Even as Matty fights her progressive disease, she still acts like a happy child and loves meeting new people.
Kids Wish Network wouldn’t wait to grant Matty’s wish to visit Disney World and meet the princesses in person. Matty and her family enjoyed an all-expense paid wish trip to sunny Florida where they stayed at luxury accommodations, dined at generous local restaurants, and enjoyed all the magic of the parks.
“Matty had the best time,” recalls her mother Heather. “She kept saying she was going to Disney no matter if she was sick or not.”
Matty loved visiting Cinderella’s castle, meeting Sophia the First, and going on Princess Ariel’s ride. For Heather, though, just enjoying time together as a family is a memory for life.
“It was so nice to be able to enjoy time as a family and not have to worry about Matty being sick or having trouble with her breathing,” adds Heather. “Getting to see Matty be a normal kid for a couple of days is something we thank you so, so much for.”
Matty continues to battle her chronic illnesses and is closely monitored. She fights to stay out of the hospital, but even when she does need to visit, she keeps a smile on her face.
Illness: Severe viral induced asthma & COPD
Wish: Disney World
Wish Category: Theme Parks