Golden#039;s status remains critical

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Matthew Golden, 6, remains in critical condition in the pediatric intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital, where his parents and family remain by his side.

The young child sustained the injuries in a one automobile accident on Dec. 28 on Ala. Highway 10 W. as his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Doug Moorer, of Monroeville, drove their three grandsons back home to Greenville.

Through a website set up by Robert Householder, president of Greenlynk Technologies Inc., people worldwide wait for updates on the young boy and post their words of support and concern.

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Jerry and Vicki Golden, Matthew’s parents, keep family and friends, who are now known as &uot;Matthew’s Prayer Army,&uot; updated on his condition.

For those without

Internet access, word of mouth serves the same purpose.

According to one of the latest updates, doctors planned to remove Matthew from the ventilator that has been breathing for him Monday morning after 10 a.m.

However, according to his parents, when they arrived at 10 a.m. they were told the vent would remain due to his having another surgery. However, according to an update posted just after noon Tuesday, Matthew’s surgery was postponed due to his developing a fever.

&uot;Well to say the least we were surprised and confused by this development,&uot; Jerry Golden wrote. &uot;The nurse informed us that Matthew would be getting a &uot;Subgalial&uot; semi-permanent shunt. He would also be removed from the vent and then be trached and receive a peg tube (for feeding purposes).&uot;

The Goldens said they wanted to wait and pray about it overnight for a better understanding of what is best for their son.

&uot;We want to limit the number of surgeries for Matthew but also give him the best chance for recovery and the shunt will provide that,&uot; Jerry wrote. &uot;Vicki and I want to give Matthew the opportunity to see if he can breathe off the vent without the trach. The feeding is currently fine through the tube he has now going down his throat so we will wait on the peg tube as well. So we are expecting right now that around noon on Tuesday, Matthew will receive the new shunt and we will currently wait on the trach and peg tube.&uot;

Householder, a Golden family friend, said things looked bleak over the weekend, but the &uot;Prayer Army&uot; went to work on his behalf.

&uot;This past Friday, Matthew took a desperate turn for the worse and things looked bad,&uot; Householder said.

&uot;God’s people stopped what they were doing and a massive prayer session took place all over the USA. By Saturday morning, Matthew was again stable and improving. Prayer does work!&uot;

Matthew’s agonized father expressed his concern and dismay over his son’s battle for life in an update to the site’s supporters.

&uot;I probably do not have to tell you how much we miss Matthew,&uot; he wrote. &uot;As parents we never want to see our kids hurt and I truly believe (through this experience) that we get this from our Lord and His love for us.

Who better to teach us about how to love our children than the Lord?

This is the hardest part for us.

Watching Matthew hurt and not being able to tell us how much he hurts right there in front of our eyes is pure parental torture.

We just do not want Matthew to suffer and to be in pain.

I can honestly say I have never felt so helpless in my life.

I pray for strength everyday for Vicki and me.

I can truly say your prayers are felt.&uot;

Householder said the response to the site continues to amaze him.

He recently posted a U.S. map on the web site showing states where prayers and support for Matthew have been sent.

&uot;If you go to the prayer section of the site, you will see a miracle,&uot; he said.

&uot;The states in blue have people praying for Matthew on a daily basis and have left messages on the support board. I have never seen anything like this before. There have been over 36,000 people visit the site since Jan. 6. That is another miracle. I get phone calls and emails at all times of the day and night wanting updates. That is also a miracle.

Householder also gave an update on the Golden’s other sons, Michael and Will.

&uot;The boys are fine,&uot; he said.

&uot;Jerry and Vicki have so many people helping in that area that no more is needed right now. Also, Jerry will soon start to come home a few days each week to work and see the boys.&uot;

Also he said Mr. and Mrs. Doug Moorer, Matthew’s grandparents, who were in the accident with their grandsons are doing better.

&uot;The grandparents are doing OK,&uot; he said. &uot;His grandfather still has some back issues but will be OK. They both still need prayer.&uot;

The family’s needs in Birmingham are also being met by some special circumstances.

&uot;God has provided many miracles to help them in this time of need,&uot; he said. &uot;A church in Birmingham, that they had never heard of before, gave them an apartment to use, free of charge, for as long as they need it. So far, God has taken care of their financial needs.&uot;

Householder and fellow GTI technician Jason LaVigne designed the website and keeps it updated, and it has taken on a ministry type feel.

&uot;I know of six people saved and at least five people who have rededicated their lives to Christ, including myself, because of this,&uot; Householder said. &uot;I expect there are hundreds more of both cases. When I read through the hundreds of messages on the support board I know that I am looking at something that goes way beyond this world. This whole site is God. There are also a lot of other people who are involved in caring for the Goldens besides us. Their church, community, friends and family have also played a huge part.&uot;

He said he does not know what Matthew’s purpose is, nor does he try to understand God’s plan for the young boy, but he and many others continue to hope.

I believe he will recover and I believe many lives will be changed because of this,&uot; he said. &uot;The thing is, who can tell where it will end? Matthew’s injury and the prayer and attention it has received from all over the country may have already changed history in a large way. Who can say that a life that was touched by this will change the world? I know it seems far fetched but God thinks and plans for the future and not just right now, like we do.&uot;

Householder said he never thought the site would touch so many lives, and that as word spread Matthew’s &uot;Prayer Army&uot; would grow.

&uot;This has definitely changed my opinion of Christian people in this country,&uot; he said.

&uot;I have not seen so many people concerned about a child and family that they have never met and will probably never meet. Jerry and Vicki are getting visits from people they have never heard of before and that is another miracle.&uot;

Those wanting the latest on Matthew can visit and follow the link there or use the link from