Westfield Family Grateful for Son’s Progress at Matheny School


Sammy Heisler with Ms. Wheelchair
New Jersey 20013 Maggie Redden,
the graduation keynote speaker.

During the first several years of his life, Sammy Heisler lived in a long-term care facility.  He was medically complicated, and most doctors did not expect him to survive. “How shocked they would all be to see how he has flourished,” says his mother Doris Burman, a resident of Westfield. On Tuesday, June 18, Sammy graduated from The Matheny School.

When Sammy first arrived at Matheny in January 1998 he was completely tube-fed.  Since then, according to his mother, “Sammy has learned how to eat, handle a wheelchair and respond to familiar faces. But, by far, the greatest benefit Sammy received from Matheny is his self-confidence. The Matheny staff members have always treated Sammy and all the students with dignity and respect, and I strongly believe these interactions have enabled him to release his personality and develop into the charming young man he is today.”


From left, Sammy's father Cliff Heisler.
Sammy Heisler and Doris Burman.

Sammy initially came to Matheny, Burman recalls, because “he began to physically improve and soon became inquisitive about his environment. The long-term care facility was not geared toward development, but the Westfield School District knew about Matheny and was in complete agreement that this was an appropriate school for him.”  As Sammy makes the transition into Matheny’s Adult Services Program, Burman says she “will always be grateful to this organization of dedicated, talented people.”



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