Matty Eappen died at the age of eight months as a result of being violently shaken by a caregiver. This foundation was established in his memory to improve the safety and welfare of children by educating the public about the dangers of shaking a child and to provide assistance to victims and their families.
The following is the victim statement Matty's mother read to impact the court after Louise Woodward was convicted of 2nd degree murder:
And we loved this little bundle of joy. Our chunk-a-munk.
We felt that life was good, that things had fallen into place after medical school and residency and after getting settled at our new jobs. Only one week before February 4th, Sunny and I were talking and saying, "God, we are so blessed.'' And we dreamed of Matty's future and of Matty and Brendan together, playing ball and rough-housing.
And to wiry little Brendan we would joke, "You better be nice to your brother. He's going to be a lot bigger than you.''
They were so beautifully different, like Tigger and Winnie-the-Pooh. We felt happy and secure. We loved our family and wouldn't change a thing.
But on February 4th, 1997, all our hopes and dreams were torn apart. Our Matty
had been hurt. We soon learned our baby Matthew was dying. We couldn't believe it. It was all inconceivable, and it was beyond us to comprehend that our Matty was dying because someone we trusted had hurt him.
We couldn't give up hope. We wished for a miracle. We would love Matty anyway. He didn't need to be perfect. Could he survive with maybe half a brain?
But repeat tests and CAT scans showed there was nothing to save. The whole brain was destroyed. There would be no life for Matty. On February 9th, we made the most painful decision in our lives. We had to let Matty go, be free of this