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Apr 17, 2002

Beating victim out of coma, regains speech

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Good news is hard to come by on some days, but every now and then a report that begins as bad news winds up with a happy ending. Jacqueline Woods has been following one such story for the last two months.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Roderick Matura was given only a fifty percent chance of survival following a brutal attack in which five young men beat him severely and left him to die. Matura was comatose and after regaining consciousness, he could not walk, talk nor eat on his own.

Today, when I visited the twenty-one year old Matura, I found him not only sitting up on his own, but also able to speak. Matura, who still suffers from some memory loss, says he is aware that he was very ill and even though he cannot recall what happened to him, he knows that his recovery could not have been possible without God and the constant love and care from family and friends.

Roderick Matura

“They were always by my side no matter what. They were always by my side trying to talk to me, make me feel good in whatever I do.”

The road ahead to a full recovery is uncertain, but Cynthia Sutherland believes her son will one day be able to do everything he once did. Three weeks ago, Sutherland says she started noticing a marked improvement in Matura’s condition that surprised everyone including his doctors.

Cynthia Sutherland, Mother

“He just started to eat well, talking. I don’t know, it’s just like a miracle overnight, he sit up. Just an overnight miracle I would say.

The doctors were very shocked because according to what they believed, from what they have done and seeing how Roderick suffered before, it was a fifty-fifty chance with him in their book. But I did not give up at all with all they told me, they are still not sure although he got the surgery, the surgery was successful and everything. They still would not guaranteed that Roderick could make it. They said there was a possibility that Roderick he could make it as well as he cannot make it, well I never had that mind that he would not make it. I always believe in my heart and my entire being that there is a Creator in Heaven I always said, you are the only one that could do this miracle and I never one day gave up.”

Matura, affectionately known as Jolly Rancher, has not lost his winning smile and gentle spirit. Matura is determined to walk and with the help of his sisters, he’s been getting around.

Cynthia Sutherland

“He always aim for the goal he wants and I think this is one of the goals. He says he’s not ready to give up in life so I will keep on struggling.”

The family does not know if Matura’s eyesight will be restored, but he is scheduled to undergo tests next week to see if the problem is only temporary. Both mother and son would like to thank all those persons who assisted the family both in prayers and donations.

Roderick Matura

“I would just like for everybody to know that I’m okay and I’m happy where I am and I miss every single body that knows me…I just want them to know that. And I really want to thank them in so many ways how grateful I am for everything that they have done for me.”

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting for News 5.

Following the January twentieth attack on Matura, San Ignacio police arrested five young men. On March nineteenth, nineteen year old Darwin Mendez, twenty-three year old Calvin Welch, twenty year old Willy Aguirre, Stanley Flowers and a sixteen year old minor appeared in Magistrate’s Court where they were charged with the crimes of maim and damage to property. The case has been adjourned until May eighth.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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