Coronavirus and CNS Preventative/Protective Measures
CONTACT US CALL 800.922.4994
Former Patient Inspired to Teach Youth After Holiday Accident

Former Patient Inspired to Teach Youth After Holiday Accident

Former Patient Inspired to Teach Youth After Holiday Accident

When he was 24, Matthew Dudley needed just one more semester to graduate from the University of Texas, Arlington. On December 23, 2004, Matthew was driving to his parents’ house to celebrate Christmas along with his twin brother and wife at the time. Matthew’s car collided head-on with an 18-wheeler truck that left him with a fractured spinal cord, two broken legs, and a traumatic brain injury.

CNS patient Mathew's vehicle after the accident.At the hospital, Matthew was in a coma for three weeks.  His family was by his side, including his twin brother and wife who had minor injuries from the accident.

Matthew was admitted to the Centre for Neuro Skills’ Dallas in-patient program on February 15, 2005. He was confined to a wheelchair, wore a halo traction, and suffered memory deficits. Matthew strengthened his reading and memory through speech therapy, learned how to walk again through physical therapy, and re-enrolled in his bachelor’s program with the help of his educational therapist.

In February 2006, Matthew completed his last summer course and obtained his college degree in advertising. However, Matthew’s accident and injuries changed and refreshed his career goals and life path.

“I wanted to help people who had gone through what I did,” recalls Matthew.

Matthew began working at CNS as a Therapist Assistant in 2008. During his four-year tenure at CNS, Matthew enrolled in an Alternative Certification Program to become a special education teacher and made it his career in 2012 – the same year his son was born.

Matthew’s son was diagnosed with autism at an early age, which influenced Matthew to further pursue his teaching career. Matthew teaches elementary-level children with autism, has served as assistant baseball coach in his school district, and looks forward to volunteering in the district’s Special Olympics program. Matthew and his son share a love for baseball, and regularly watch baseball games together.

“I don’t think I would have done this if it wasn’t for my injury,” Matthew said.