"Amazing!" Homecoming for Wayne boy who spent months in hospital

WAYNE, New Jersey (WABC) -- The community of Wayne, New Jersey, came out for an emotional welcome home on Friday for a 10-year-old boy who spent four months recovering in a hospital, after his family's vehicle was hit by an alleged drunk driver.

Matthew Polifonte suffered serious injuries back in March when his family's vehicle was rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver.

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10-year-old Matthew Polifonte of Wayne, New Jersey received a warm welcome home after spending 4 months in the hospital.

Matthew was one of six children in the vehicle, but the only one who was critically hurt. He remained in a medically-induced coma for weeks. He turned 10 while in the hospital and in the coma.

Neighbors and well-wishers lined Polifonte's street for an hour and a half before he pulled into his driveway.

"It is humbling to see all of the support," Leo Polifonte, his dad, said.

Matthew wears a helmet because part of his skull had to be removed.

His mom, Lori, is a preschool teacher who has not left his side, while his dad held down the fort at home. His mom broke into tears as they arrived back home.

"I am happy just to be a family again and to be together. Thank you so much everyone for your love and support all of these four to five months and for right now we are just living day by day," Lori said.

There were also many signs and shirts that read "MP 35." That's his lacrosse number. Matthew was on his way to a practice when the accident happened.

Matthew wore his lacrosse helmet and a Superman shirt for his journey home, waving and blowing kisses to the cheering crowd as he arrived.

"Amazing!" he said of the welcome home. "Thank you for supporting me on my road to recovery. I feel so loved."

He said he planned to "play" now that he's home, and eat ziti for a homecoming dinner.

"Who doesn't like ziti!" he said.

The community rallied to help the family after the accident with meals and donations to a GoFundMe page that's raised more than $70,000.

He is also grateful for the care that he received.

"I give a shout out to Children's Specialized Hospital for taking such good care of me," he said.

Matthew has four siblings, including a twin sister. Three of them were also in the vehicle, but not seriously injured.
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