WAYNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There was a big celebration Friday, for a brave little boy who’s been fighting for his life.
CBS2’s Cindy Hsu was in Wayne for Matthew Polifonte’s huge homecoming.
Motorcades are for VIPs, and you couldn’t find anyone more important than 10-year-old Matthew Polifonte, who’s finally home from the hospital.
Matthew is lucky to be alive — he suffered a brain injury in a car crash. He was critically injured when he and four other kids were on their way to a lacrosse game, and a woman crashed into their minivan.
The driver accused of causing the chain reaction crash has been charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless driving.
None of the other kids in the van were hurt, but Dominic Tirella will never forget it.
“It was very scary, it was five cars that were in the accident,” he said.
Friday was a celebration for a very grateful young man.
“Thank you for supporting me and my road to recovery,” Matthew said.
Matt’s mother is a pre-school teacher.
“It’s the power of prayer, everybody got us through this to give me the strength to get through this, day by day,” Lori Polifonte said.
Neighbors said the family plays a huge part in the community.
“They have five children, and Lori and Leo are involved with everything; coaching sports, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, PTO,” Jen Carr said.
Friends started a Go Fund Me page to help the family pay for their medical bills, they also came up with the battle cry ‘MP 35’ for Matt’s initials and 35 for his lacrosse number. Everyone also enjoyed the meal train.
“You sign up for a date and you cook a meal for the family, or provide take out, and you leave it in front of the family’s house, and they have a meal waiting for them when they get home,” Jen Crawford explained.
As for Matthew, after months of hospital food, he’s ready for his favorite dish.
“Ziti, like who doesn’t like ziti,” he said.
Matthew has a long road ahead, but he has a lot of company on his journey. His family is looking forward to getting him back to school and back on the field.