Opinion: Family thanks community, medical workers for their support following fatal fire in Gouverneur
Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 8:09 am

On April 20, I began the following letter to thank North Country professionals and residents who helped us after our house fire:

On January 5th, a house fire destroyed my former home at 149 River Road, Gouverneur, in the town of Fowler. My son, Kevin Matott, who still lived there was badly burned by the fire. He has been at Upstate Hospital since then, but is finally being released on Tuesday, April 23rd. His skin, after a dozen operations, has mostly healed and he is walking and gaining dexterity in his hands.

I want to thank everyone who came to our aid on that day.

Danny Hubbard who saw the smoke and found Kevin in the snow.

Belinda Hubbard who watched Kara, Kevin’s daughter, that morning.

The Gouverneur Rescue Squad who recognized how badly burned Kevin was and who arranged for the Lifeline Helicopter to transport him directly to the Clark Burn Center at Upstate Hospital in Syracuse. I am sure that this action saved his life.

The Gouverneur Fire Department who risked their lives on a cold winter morning. They stopped the fire from spreading, but the house was destroyed.

The Gouverneur Police Department and the New York State Police who assisted at the scene.

I want to thank everyone in the community who has helped us since. Their kindness, generosity, prayers, cards of encouragement and support have given courage and strength to sustain us through the last four months.

The St. James School staff and families.

Community members from all over the North Country.

Family members from Potsdam and beyond.

I want to thank the wonderful staff at Upstate Hospital in Syracuse who healed Kevin’s burns and brought him back to life.

The Doctors and Staff at the Clark Burn Center.

The Doctors and Staff on the 2 North Rehabilitation Unit.

I want to thank the following health services who helped Kevin during his brief recovery period at home:

The Nurses and Physical Therapists from Health Services of Northern New York in Potsdam.

Dr. Knowles and his caring staff in Canton. Rev. Thomas T. Patterson Wound Healing Center in Ogdensburg.

Sadly, I am writing this on May 30, to report that, despite all the care that Kevin received, his body finally said, “No more!” on May 12, 2019, in the Gouverneur Hospital Emergency Room. We miss him terribly.

Thank you to the Emergency Room Nurses and Doctors who worked to save him.

In honor of the ER efforts, I am making a donation to the Gouverneur Hospital Auxilliary Fund to purchase a chest compression system for the Emergency Room.

I encourage Gouverneur residents to do the same, in order to provide the ER staff with such an essential piece of life-saving equipment.

I also want to thank Glenn Seymour and Brendon Hardy of the Donaldson-Seymour Funeral Home in Potsdam for their compassionate services.

Thanks again to everyone in the North Country who helped us and prayed for us throughout these long five months. It is a wonderful place to live and raise a family.

Lynne Matott & Kara, Kevin’s daughter, Kevin’s Brothers: Paul, Shawn, Drew & Scott

Kevin’s Sister: Jennifer