By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Matthew Cornett of Dearborn is overcoming double spinal fusion surgery while his family possibly could lose their home after he was let go by his employer last month.
A GoFundMe page started Jan. 17 on behalf of Cornett has raised $23,180 of the $30,000 goal by 297 donors as of Feb. 6. Funds raised will be used to save the family’s house along with paying several medical and financial bills.
Medical concerns began for Cornett in 2002 following his marriage to his wife, Nicole, when doctors found a tumor that was diagnosed as Hodgkins Lymphoma, according to the GoFundMe page.
He began chemotherapy and radiation immediately and was in remission after several months.
As a result of the chemotherapy, the couple was unable to have children, but instead they adopted four children from the foster care system.
Cornett was then diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma when a tumor was discovered on his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down just less than a year after beating Hodgkins Lymphoma.
The next two years for Cornett were spent in physical therapy learning to walk, but when he finally did he was left with almost no feeling from the waist down, the GoFundMe said.
Cornett began to develop ulcers in his feet which became so bad that he had six surgeries and the front halves of both feet amputated.
Last year, Cornett was denied short term disability and did not receive an income for several months as a result.
His doctor ordered an MRI which determined Cornett had two fractured vertebrae.
Cornett underwent neurosurgery when doctors discovered there actually were four fractured vertebrae, so he underwent a double spinal fusion, spending three months in recovery.
Due to persistent back pain, Cornett was hospitalized and had a second emergency neurosurgery to redo the entire spinal fusion surgery, according to the GoFundMe page.
When Cornett provided his employer at the time with documentation that stated he needed emergency surgery, he received an email terminating his employment and medical insurance.
Cornett and his family are now without medical insurance or the primary salary.
In 2014, Cornett graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in computer science from the college of engineering.
“Matt is one of the smartest people I know and would be an asset to any corporation,” the GoFundMe read. “In the future, after Matt’s recovery, please consider him.”
To donate to the fundraiser go to www.gofundme.com/f/help-the-cornetts.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])