Agrieving father paid tribute to his young son’s death with a headstone that sends a powerful message. Mostly paralyzed and unable to see or speak, Matthew Robinson lived a life confined to a wheelchair, but his family says his love had no bounds.
Today though, the headstone illustrating a young boy reaching to the heavens free of earthly disabilities, now serves as a beacon for the Robinson’s organization that aids other families facing the same difficulties.
Due to complications at birth, Matthew was left with severe disabilities. The doctors said he might not live to see his first birthday, but the family says his innate strength helped him live more than 10 years.
During his young life, his family told Deseret News that Matthew not only taught them about love and strength, but also the hardships families of children with disabilities face when it comes to getting them the equipment they need, “It’s so hard taking care of all their needs,” Ernie said. “There are so many hoops to jump through, so many things to negotiate.”
Ernie, a man with a Ph.D. in biophysics, soon started designing and building equipment for Matthew and others to make their lives easier. But what started as a project, turned into a full-force organization that aided the disability community.
Matthew’s father started the Ability Found in 1993 when his son was 5 years old. The organization went on even after Matthew’s death in 1999, his father calling it a tribute to his life. “Matthew rolls around with me, I can feel it,” he says. “I believe that’s why he left early, so he could help us,” Ernie told the Deseret News.
The incredible headstone is now not only a memorial to Matthew, but serves as the icon of the Ability Found. Check out the video below for a tribute to Matthew and his family’s charitable work.