HOUMA – Two years ago a Houma man was told that he would never walk on his own again after suffering a devastating stroke.
Matthew Sylve was determined not to be just another statistic. Three weeks ago he turned his determination turn into what is being called a medical miracle.
Sylve took several wobbly steps, but to him, they were like man’s first walk on the moon.
The 37-year-old Sylve walked from one side to the other on a purple mat at his workout gym.
Two years ago his stroke left him hospitalized for three weeks. He was unable to walk, talk or eat, but the toughest part, he says, was his time away from his two little girls.
But after two years of physical therapy, Matthew started working out at his local Anytime Fitness. Three months later came his big moment.
“It makes me feel better as a person to know that I’m finally getting somewhere,” he said.
Matthew had to re-learn how to eat and talk after the stroke. It took him two months, then 22 more months to take his steps.
“I think my daughter said it best,” he said. “She said, ‘Daddy, even if you just take one step, you make us proud.”
For his next step, Matthew wants to do – of all things – household chores. He wants to be able to cut the grass and get a new job.
His wife said that after the emotional journey, she is ready for Matthew’s successes.
“I’ve had enough of that,” she said about her job cutting the yard.
Matthew is committed to his workout plan. He goes to the gym twice a day and plans to keep doing that until he can walk the way he used to.