‘Matheny has given serenity and faith back to us’

Even though Michael Taurozzi can’t speak, can’t walk and has limited hearing, his teacher, Christina Carey, believes Michael’s greatest qualities are “his smile, laugh and sense of humor. He loves to interact and verbalize with his peers and he is always looking for a good laugh.”

John Taurozzi believes his son is so happy because “the people at Matheny treat him with so much love and care. That’s the difference here. It’s not just the medical benefits that the school offers. It’s each and every one of the nurses and the physical therapists and the occupational therapists and the amount of love and care they give these students.”

Everyone who knows Michael remarks about his love for music, which is confirmed by his music therapist, Alissa West. “Mike,” she says, “lights up in music therapy. He loves hearing new sounds and laughs when he hears the instrument sounds he likes best. He likes moving to upbeat rock songs and vocalizes during improvised music. He also seems to like deep vibrations made by instruments such as the bass bars or a buffalo drum. And he giggles when he hears and feels them.”

His father points out that Michael’s strongest sense is his hearing. “If he’s home and it’s quiet, and I see him open up his eyes and lift his head, I know something’s up. One thing about Michael – he absorbs the environment. That’s why Matheny is such an amazing place for him. It’s upbeat and positive.”

“When Michael was home,” his mother, Janice recalls, “I would spend three hours just feeding him. I’m so happy he’s here. You know when you walk in, it’s the right place.” Matheny, adds Michael’s grandparents, Jack and Elaine Brunner, “has given our whole extended family serenity and faith back.”

Michael will be featured in our Annual Appeal brochure. Look for it in the mail in the coming days.

Above: Michael and his teacher, Christina Carey.