Memorial website in the memory of your loved one

Matthew  Kota (Pic taken on Aug 23, 2008)


Our family May, 2008




Please light a candle-it means a lot to us!



Check out his photo album below to see more pics! 


Matthew (2nd from right standing)


With friend Kelsey!

May 2008


December 2007


May 2007




 With cousins Jordan and Micah

Taken August 2008 


Fall 2007


Summer 2008


This memorial website was created in the memory of our son, Matthew Kota who was born in New York February 1991 and passed away September 2008 at the age of 17 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, where we traveled to (hopefully) have his problem fixed. He died of complications from brain surgery related to a large AVM (arterio-venous Brain malformation). This condition happens only to 0.01% of the population. We only found out about it in January 2008 and apparently he had this since birth, and sort of was a walking time bomb according to the doctors. It was a large vein in his head that was 20-30% larger than it should be, and we were told it could burst at any time, and the effects would be devastating.  We hoped the surgery would save him, but it did not. He left behind his parents Jason and Nancy, two brothers, Sean and Tyler, one sister Sara, a beautiful girlfriend Kaylee, several Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, many cousins and good friends.


Matthew 2 days old 2-3-1991



Our son, Matthew was a gift from God.  He had a normal healthy childhood. He was the eldest of 4 children, and seemed so mature for his age. He loved playing outside and playing with his brother Sean.  He liked helping us work outside.  I remember when we bought the land that we built our house on, he was only 8 years old, but he helped us clear trees and brush and just seemed older than he really was. He had 16 first cousins that he loved to see and was always having so much fun.  When he was younger, he spent a lot of time in the wooded area we own, making forts with his friend Tony and playing in the creek behind our house. He loved being outside, and even in his teens he still enjoyed doing outside work! He also spent a lot of time playing hockey in the basement with his brother Sean and neighbors Dale and Dan. He decided at the age of 8 years old that be wanted to become a Doctor, and so he followed his goals and dreams in hopes to make this come true. He was a straight A student, in the top 5% of his class (2009) at his High School, a member of Senior National Honor Society, had just begun volunteering at the Red Cross passing out the snacks, had donated blood and wanted to be in the gallon donor's club!, Volunteered for our local Methodist Church, was a member of ski club, Academic Challenge Bowl, Ran Outdoor and indoor Track, Ran Cross Country in the fall, was a representative of New York’s Boys State, was chosen and attended the first ever BIO-technology class thru our local community college, where he received 7 college credits and also got paid to go! As a junior in high school, he already had 16 college credits. He wanted to attend Pre Medical School and in August '08, he took a tour of SUNY GENESEO, where he hoped to be accepted after High School. He also enjoyed the usual teenage things: video games, xbox 360, guitar hero and playing Rock Band! He was very smart, but at the same time, was so humble and caring towards others. He was funny and very witty and quick to respond with a smart and sometimes sarcastic remark. He was always joking around especially with his brother Sean and his family and he had so much fun with his girlfriend Kaylee and friend Adam. He spent a lot of time with his family-aunts, uncles cousins etc. I do believe he enjoyed his life on this earth and I don't understand why he was taken.  He seemed to always have a good attitude. was so happy and was sweet by nature.  He was an angel! I guess my opinion could be biased!

He had previously mentioned (when he got his driver's license) that he wanted to be an organ donor, so when he passed away, he donated his organs and saved 5 people that we know of.  He also donated veins and tissue that could help over 20 more people, but we will not hear from any of them.  We are able to write a letter to the recipients of his heart, lungs, pancreas and kidneys, but we have not done that yet.

9-09 Update on organ donation.

We heard from the Liver recipient who is doing well.  He is in his 50's and has 4 children of his own.

We heard again from the 28 year old who recieved Matthew's pancreas and kidney and he is doing great. His mother is hoping to hold a blood drive in honor of Matthew at a Phoenix Sun's basketball game!

We still have not heard from the double lung recipient or the heart/kidney recipient but we do know who the heart/kidney recip. is and have read an article about him in the Mayo Clinic annual report and he is doing well.  It was the first EVER transplant where a patient went from an artificial heart and received a new heart and a kidney at the same time. Matthew set history.


September 07 Home CC Meet



Matthew + Tyler 9-07


 Matthew + Sean 1994 


One of my favorite pictures taken at Hotel in Florida on our trip to Disney World in 1994--he was 3 1/2 years old


Sean + Matthew 1995


1998 Aunt Renee's senior picture


 Spring 2008



Sean + Matthew December 2007


This is from May 2008-Our Family + Kaylee after his Band Concert


Kaylee + Matthew 8-08


Matthew with friend Adam 12-07 leaving for Christmas Dance at the School



Indoor Track 1-08 


With cousin Micah August 2008



 His high school dedicated and named their annual Cross Country Meet after Matthew and another runner Emily Reis who passed away 5-08



The next two pictures are from pages from a project he made in 7th grade. He is wearing scrubs because he was chosen and attended "Mash' camp in the summer for kids who may be interested in the Medical Field.  He never changed his mind about wanting to become a doctor!

 (another page from project)



Mom Dad Matthew + Sean took this tour !


This next picture is of him from Boy's State








this is a link to his AVM story of his rare illness:


Click here to see Matthew Kota's
Family Tree
Tributes and Condolences
peewee hockey   / Ivan Madafferi (Childhood Friends )
Hey Matt, I think about you and your family all the time. I know your always looking after them. After I stopped playing hockey, I found myself thinking back at some of my the best memories. I may have not known it at the time, but I can honestly no...  Continue >>
8-4-11  / Nancy K. (mom)
Dear Math I miss you very much.  I tried to donate blood in your honor at the drive that you worked at but my iron was too low. I just want to say your siblings miss you so very much.  I saw a paper that Tyler had written and it said he l...  Continue >>
My daughter with avm   / Kimberly (none)
To the parents of Matthew I am  so very sorry for the loss of your son . I to know the pain you  are feeling. I lost my 17 year old daughter Jan. 5th 2011 due to avm.  She  complained of a headache on a sunday but it went away and...  Continue >>
Beatiful site for a beautiful boy, Matthew!   / Donna Mom To Angie Robert (Someone who cares )
To Nancy and Jason I just came upon your precious son's site and I just wanted to send my condolences to you and your family. Your son Matthew was a very impressive boy. He has so much going for him especially his eagerness in life to achieve. Even...  Continue >>
Still Missing you  / A.Robin/U.Lenny Brill (Aunt/Uncle)    Read >>
missing you  / Mommy     Read >>
Missing you Matthew  / Mommy     Read >>
love you forever  / Nancy Kota (mom)    Read >>
Merry Christmas from our family to yours♥  / Terri♥Mom 2. Angel Brent Bowden     Read >>
just thinking  / Mom K. (mother)    Read >>
Memories / Carol Bartlett (someone who cares )    Read >>
Not Forgotten  / Carol Bartlett (someone who cares )    Read >>
graduation / Nancy (Mom)    Read >>
In honor of Matthew  / Carol Bartlett (someone who cares )    Read >>
More tributes and condolences...
Click here to pay tribute or offer your condolences
His legacy
Matthew's legacy in Mom's eyes  

I never thought I would have to be writing about what legacy my son leaves behind. His life was too short.  Since he never married or had children, I guess what Matthew leaves behind is memories of a beautiful person who enjoyed his 17 years on this earth.  He stood for good and had a sweet nature. He was a wonderful son and brother. He helped out if he could and had a genuine concern for people. He was funny and energetic and was interested in so many things, and never afraid to try new things, although he was cautious! He was a well rounded kid who was involved in a wide variety of activities.  He wasn't only into running or playing hockey but loved many things: band, ski club, honor society, and he was very interested in World War II, planes and starting a career in medicine.  He talked about taking flight lessons when he became a doctor-he had it all planned out, and worked so hard to reach his goals. He was a very organized person.  His room was kept neat and he had boxes that were labeled, everything placed just so.  He kept everything-  He had saved every card, ticket stub, business card, etc. and had them neatly organized in his desk. He also loved to read-maybe not so much in the past couple of years, but he had so many books and read all of them.

I am just so sorry his dreams and goals were cut short on this earth and I will never understand why he was taken.  He never hurt anyone, and just worked so hard to be a good student, son, brother and boyfriend.

After his funeral, we recieved a letter from a man who taught the SAT prep course who gave his condolences and then said that in the short time that he taught Matthew, he could tell he was the kind of student that most teachers dream about having!

I only wish I could be more like him!

Matthew's Photo Album
Senior pic One of our favorites
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