From the moment she held him in her arms, Anne Crosby had deep fears for her newborn son. Although the staff at the hospital in London paid no attention to her concerns, her instincts were correct: Matthew had Down syndrome. After struggling with her contradictory feelings, Crosby set about doing whatever she could to help Matthew lead as full a life as possible.
"Matthew" is the moving, honest, perceptive, and often funny account of the life he made with the help of his mother and many other caring people. With an eye for detail and an acute ear for voices, Crosby describes Matthew's family and friends, doctors and teachers--a large cast that includes Gladys Strong, his Cockney caregiver, the famous child psychologist D.W. Winnicott, and Princess Anne, a benefactor of Matthew's boarding school. Crosby evokes the forbidding atmosphere of Normansfield, the residential institution founded by the man who gave his name to Down syndrome; the spacious beauty of Mentmore, the country estate where she often took Matthew to play; and the touching camaraderie of the hospital ward in which Matthew died of heart failure at age twenty-five.
In this remarkable memoir, Crosby also explores Matthew's inner life, telling of his mimicry and unexpected humor, his outbursts of affection and occasional fits of misery, his gallantry toward his first love, and his disappointment over the loss of his first job. Crosby's portrait gives us an image of Matthew that deepens our understanding of what it means to be human.
""Anne Crosby has written a chronicle of caring--an account of a life that is at once painful, mysterious, and transformative."--Timothy Shriver, Chairman, Special Olympics"