Oliver’s Story

Oliver Mathis Credit: Mathis Family

On January 24, 2018, Matt and Cindell Mathis, were told that their baby boy, Oliver, would be coming three weeks early!

Shocked, they ran to get their overnight bag and headed to the hospital. After hours of waiting and labor, Oliver was born on January 25, 2018.

When they were handed Oliver for the first time, they were surprised to see that his left ear was not developed.

They had no idea what this meant or what to expect. At first the nurses told them that they thought it was just folded over from being so tight in the womb, but that was not the case.

This was not something that they typically look for in an ultrasound because it is so rare.

No one in the hospital could officially tell Matt or Cindell what was wrong or even diagnose the cause.

They didn’t know if he would be able to hear, or if there was an opening, or if he even had an ear canal to be able to hear. Needless to say their two days in the hospital were exciting, but also very worrisome.

Close up of Oliver’s ear. Credit: Mathis Family

Days later at the ENT, Oliver was diagnosed with Type 3 Microtia (an underdeveloped ear) and Aural Atresia (no ear canal) on the left side. They had no idea what this meant or would entail. These two “conditions” quickly became their world. Oliver currently has a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) to assist with hearing.

He plans to have surgery to reconstruct a new “big” ear to match his right ear in Summer 2023.

Friends of Matt and Cindell have joined them in this journey to help them raise funds for surgery travel and to help pay for the surgery to build Oliver an ear!

“Matt and I realize that there are many other things that are more serious or life threatening that make Oliver’s condition look like a blessing. We will never deny that and will never discount that. We are so blessed to have been given the opportunity to be Oliver’s parents and to learn about something we were so ignorant to,” said Cindell Mathis. “He is our child and he is special to us, so even his smallest problems feel big because we love him so much. Our mission is to not only reconstruct Oliver’s ear, but to spread awareness.” 

Community Fundraiser on November 9th for Bids & BBQ Benefitting Oliver Mathis

The community fundraiser will be held on Tuesday, November 9 from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Hall on Vine Street in Downtown Statesboro.

Tickets for the event are $50 and include entry to the event, Silent Auction, & BBQ with all the fixins.

There will also be live music and drinks for purchase by Soyumi!

How can you help build Oliver an ear?

1. Buy tickets to Bids & BBQ Benefitting Oliver Mathis!

Online: https://www.eventcreate.com/e/oliver-silent-auction

In Person: Forest Heights Pharmacy or McCook’s Pharmacy

2. Donate: https://www.gofundme.com/f/an-ear-for-oliver?qid=037c3b7f650910f6de728c3ea92bc8e0