E-mail from Mum – 25 June 2012

A moment of joy on the roller coaster ride. An e-mail from Mum (Christine) at the end of a really good day:

Hello All,

Not sure if you all heard the tap-dancing noise today when we walked into see Matthew with his beautiful blue eyes open and his cheeks trying to smile?! It was decided yesterday the sedation would be reduced from heavy to light in an attempt to see if Matthew had cognitive function etc.  We saw him open his eyes yesterday but were not sure he was really with us. This morning, he was!!  It was hoped he would be ex-tubated today which would have meant he could talk; however, not to be and that should happen tomorrow.  M was able to indicate to all this morning he wasn’t in pain, his mouth was very sore etc., so all were confident he had come through with cognitive function. It was then put to Di by the Intensivists/Ortho surgeons/etc. she should tell Matthew the extent of his surgeries.  Can’t even start to tell you how she quietly explained to him what had happened, that the boys not only understood but had looked at his arms and legs stumps and were busy working out where to put the lift, what doors would be “voice activated” etc. Specialists/nurses were very choked up as she talked, as were Roy and I; however, we think this experience endorsed the decision they, the medical teams, made on Saturday 16th. The decision to make the amputations was a huge call and only done after observing Di as Matthew’s wife, and a little bit of us as her support and M’s family. He was our 1-5% man…… Matthew seemed to take it all in and his eyes were filled with love. When Di brought all the children in later this afternoon he reacted incredibly and they were so happy as they left….Luke said “Daddy will be ready for the State of Origin next week, and because it is school holidays we can sit on his bed and watch it”!!  Matthew hasn’t ever been very interested in State of Origin; however, suspect he will be thrilled to have his boys sitting and watching it with him.

And so, we really are now just starting another long journey which will have many, many troughs.  Matthew is in the best hands and the ICU/Orthos have contacted a Re-hab specialist who will see him at the end of the week.  We, as a family, feel he should probably access PA (Princess Alexandra, for those out-of-towners) because of their specialties in spinal injuries/stroke/amputation.  In the meantime Matthew needs physio to build his core strength and he will get that whilst he is in the Mater.  He is expected to stay in ICU for the next 10 days and then to a ward as his nursing will then become too heavy for the ICU staff.  That sounds awesome to us!!

There are two of you on this list who will relate to some of the above, PA spinal injuries (Philippa and Harry) and companion dog (Judy).  Matthew had been quite strong on not having a dog until Emily was toilet-trained.  Di told him today this experience was a bit of an extreme way to get a dog; and, she had ordered Foxtel as he would need to watch some sport with the boys when he came home!!  There are times the Ames sense of humour is not appreciated by others, and at this point in our lives it is just us and we have a “who cars?” attitude.

I suspect I won’t need to send out “broadcasts” into the future; however, will keep in touch and we really do want you all to know how much we appreciate your kind wishes and contact.  We do know if we were in your shoes we wouldn’t have words for the occasion.  We have always thought we knew what the emotion “empathy” was, and now we know so many others who do so as well.

Our love to all,

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