Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Mattia's reaching his potential thanks to Meningitis Now's Rebuilding Futures Fund

Andy Hopkinson | 7th July 2021

Our Rebuilding Futures Fund is giving young Mattia the best chance of succeeding with his important schoolwork

Meningitis Now Rebuilding Futures Fund helps Mattia reach his potential

With competition to use the family laptop fierce, providing Mattia with a new laptop through the scheme is giving him the opportunity to work at a pace that suits him and undertake tasks he would have struggled with previously. 

He can look at the online platforms his school have given him access to in his own time, as he undertakes the important Year 6 school year, while his brother and sister get on with their own work on the family computer.  

Mum Aurelie told us: “Mattia can take the time he needs to access the different learning tasks his teachers may set him. 

“With the learning difficulties he already has in maths and being a slow writer, we want to give him the best chance of succeeding, even when out of school. 

Amazing support

“At school, Mattia receives amazing support in the form of differentiated resources, extra time and maths catch up interventions. 

“When learning from home, whether because of ongoing surgery needed because of his meningitis or during covid lockdown periods, Mattia has been struggling with accessing the literacy work and having to share the family computer with his brother and sister didn’t give him enough time.

“The handwriting function of the laptop has actually boosted Mattia's motivation to practise this. He has been able to use the dictate function to complete whole literacy tasks when this would have been prematurely stopped by his poor motivation to handwrite before. 

“It’s also a great help with spelling and working independently.”

Quick-thinking doctors

Mattia was struck down with MenB as a baby 10 years ago and Aurelie is thankful for the quick-thinking doctors who saved her son’s life. 

At first the family thought he was teething but when Aurelie noticed a purple mark on his belly and rang the GP they were advised to take him straight to hospital. By this time Mattia was covered in purple marks, his breathing was uneven and he was extremely pale and turning blue.

From Stroud he was rushed to Gloucester and then Bristol hospitals, where there were 10 days of ups and downs in the Intensive Care Unit before a further eight days on a general ward. Eventually he was allowed home, but the disease has left him with after-effects and he requires ongoing leg lengthening procedures. These can each involve between six and nine months of regular medical care.

“While in hospital he can have the laptop with him at all times while the home laptop is at home for his brother and sister to complete their homework tasks”, Aurelie added. 

“It’s helped a lot and made a big difference – thank you.”

Such a difference

Meningitis Now’s Helpline and Information Manager Claire Donovan said: “This is exactly the sort of equipment that can make such a difference to those fighting back from meningitis and its devastating after-effects

“We’re so pleased to know that our Rebuilding Futures Fund support for Mattia and his family is giving him the tools and motivation he needs to be successful with his school work.”

Claire added: “We know meningitis can have a devastating impact on many aspects of life and affect people’s ability to engage in some of the things most people take for granted.

“That’s where our Rebuilding Futures Fund can make such a difference by providing a practical solution that works, bringing opportunity and reducing stress and anxiety.

“We’re proud to provide this unique, life-changing support – the only meningitis organisation to do so in the UK.” 

Support for people of all ages

Our Rebuilding Futures Fund provides financial, practical and emotional support for people of all ages affected by meningitis.

It comprises four separate areas – Health & Wellbeing; Opportunities; Specialist Equipment; and Bereavement. Each area provides funding towards different types of support, buy they are all designed to help people rebuild their futures with hope and confidence.

If you, or someone you know would benefit from the Rebuilding Futures Fund please get in touch by contacting your Regional Support Officer or our Helpline, on 0808 80 10 388 or by emailing helpline@meningitisnow.org