Community rallies around Golden family

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 10, 2004

Matthew Golden, 5, remains in critical condition in Children’s Hospital in Birmingham following a Dec. 27 automobile accident where he was ejected from the vehicle after it flipped several times.

Golden’s parents, Jerry and Vicki, remain at their son’s bedside hoping his condition continues to improve.

Since both are active community leaders, it is not surprising that their son’s health remains on everyone’s mind here in Greenville and elsewhere.

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To aid in getting the news out about Matthew as quickly as possible, without disturbing the family with continuous phone calls, Robert Householder, president of Greenlynk Technologies Inc., a local Internet and computer service supplier, created a special website for Matthew.

&uot;When I heard about the accident, just an hour or so after it happened, I was desperate for news,&uot; said Householder, a friend of the Golden family.

&uot;The hospital was not saying anything, I couldn’t get in touch with Jerry and there were rumors flying around everywhere. I hated to bother the family up there so I called some of their other friends to get news.&uot;

He said he like many others wanted to help the family, but didn’t quite know where to start.

&uot;I felt very helpless,&uot; he said. &uot;Jerry finally called me and filled me in and he actually suggested I stick a few comments about Matthew on the Stabler Clinic page.&uot;

Golden is clinic manager while Householder is the Webmaster for the physician group. &uot;As I got to thinking about it, I decided something more would be in order,&uot; Householder said. &uot;I knew that little Matthew was going to need a lot of prayer so with God’s guidance, I set up the page and support system and along with many other people, sent their needs to churches all over the Internet and throughout the country.&uot;

Householder said the response continues to amaze him as well as the power of God.

&uot;God has really moved through this site. It received over 4,000 hits in the first two days and people from all over the country have left messages,&uot; he said.

&uot;This has really picked up Jerry and Vicki’s spirits and that is almost as important as Matthew’s healing.&uot;

Householder said the elder Golden emails him updates on Matthew and then he posts them on the website.

People using the website to get answers cuts out many of the phone calls to the Goldens at the hospital, which allowed them to stay at their son’s bedside.

&uot;God really deserves the credit for this, not me,&uot; Householder said.

&uot;It was obviously part of his greater plan. All I did was try to help a friend in the only way I knew how. I am a very small part of this miracle and I have seen many lives touched in the last few days including my own.&uot;

On Thursday afternoon, the family reported that Matthew had a good day.

&uot;The CT showed no more damage than what was already there,&uot; Jerry Golden wrote.

&uot;However, the CT did show the ventricles were getting larger because of a blood clot that is blocking the drainage of CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid).

Golden said Matthew’s doctor decided put a drain back in for a while longer.

&uot;At first we were disappointed but we realize that we are only at day 11 and look how far the Lord has carried him,&uot; he wrote.

&uot;When they placed the drain his cranial pressure was only at a 5 so praise God for a stable cranial pressure.

I think this will help Matthew in the long run.&uot;

Golden asked that people continue to pray for Matthew as well as other children in unit with him.

There were three children brought in with gunshot wounds to their heads.

Another question many people continue to ask is how they can help the Goldens in ways other than prayer.

He posted on the site that they just needed prayers and that everything else was handled.

However, after being in Birmingham for more than a week now, the Goldens have seen other lives in need. Householder set up links to two charities that people can donate to in Matthew’s name.

&uot;Jerry and Vicki both have asked to please give to these organizations if you can and to continue to pray for Matthew,&uot; Householder wrote.

Donations may be made to:

N Ronald McDonald House Charities, 920 17th St. S., Birmingham, AL 35205.

N Alabama Children’s Hospital Foundation, 1600 7th Ave. S., Birmingham, AL. 35233

To track Matthew’s recovery and to post a message of support and encouragement, please visit and follow the link to Matthew’s page or follow the link from