(WLKY/CNN) — When baby Matthew makes a first impression, many assume he’s a newborn. He’s seven months old, but weighs just over three pounds.
Many of his clothes come from Build-A-Bear Workshop or are made for dolls.
When Jenevieve Cook was pregnant, doctors noticed Matthew wasn’t growing properly, so she was induced at 28 weeks.
At birth, Matthew weighed just one pound, two ounces.
After 98 days in the NICU, the family went home with an unclear diagnosis.
“Before we got discharged, they said he had the microcephaly,” Cook said. “At that time, we were explained that his brain has stopped growing. We were told Matthew would not live very long, to not expect value of life.”
But two and a half months later, results from an exome test revealed Matthew’s diagnosis of MOPD II, or microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II.
“We were told Matthew would walk, he would talk, he would go to school,” said Cook. “He would just be extraordinarily small.”
The family has been traveling to Delaware for specialized treatment. They’re now in California for two skull surgeries in hopes of preventing further strokes and brain aneurysms, which are common in people with this condition.
“We do get a lot of people who are encouraging, and they’re kind, but we also get a lot of people that are just beyond belief and they’re shocked when they see him.”
Matthew has two older brothers and the family tries to make his life as normal as possible. And they share his story in the hopes of teaching others that being different isn’t a bad thing.
“Matthew will be just like everybody else,” his mother said. “He’ll be there, throwing the ball like a regular kid. He’s just extra small. There is nothing wrong with just being different.”