We’ve found some specific sources of inspiration that will hopefully help us, Matthew, and the kids as we move forward. We’ll add to this as we find them, and feel free to e-mail any ideas or sites/people you find to Kate or Rachel. The simple message at this stage is Matt’s not the only one; there’s plenty of support out there; and there is simply no limit to what can be done, although it’s easy to say on this side of the fence at this stage.
Nick is an Australian preacher who was born without limbs. His motto is ‘no arms, no legs, no worries’. He is amazing. Here is simply one video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo_24_qTNac
Only five military US members in any service have lost all four limbs and survived in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, but two of these have been this year. Travis Mills is one of these servicemen, and here are some articles about him:
www.travismills.org (amazing – see the Updates page for the smiles on other quadruple amputees in therapy)
And this one, about his new prosthetic arm that allows him to feed his daughter: http://foxnewsinsider.com/2012/06/08/update-emotional-video-shows-quadruple-amputee-soldier-travis-mills-taking-first-steps-with-prosthetic-legs/
Quadruple amputee Corporal Todd Nicely, who learned to drive again: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/26/todd-nicely_n_908018.html (bloody amazing!)
Mark is an Australian business owner, based in Hobart, who manufactured his own arm based on instructions he found on the internet. A great story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4DDt30Aat4
And some others…
Quadruple amputee swims around the world: http://news.discovery.com/adventure/amputee-swims-world-120425.html
The first US quadruple amputee to survive in combat during recent years is Brendan Marrocco. An amazing story: http://media-dis-n-dat.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/quadruple-amputee-veteran-works-to.html
And more to come…
Thanks to Claire McMahon for this story, which came from a cousin when told of Matthew’s plight:
“I have a good friend Carmel, who many years ago ,went through a similar thing with her young hairdresser. Brigetta was a very pretty girl, working hard in her own hairdressing salon here in Sunnybank. Her husband was a fireman and they had a beautiful little girl. When the baby was only very small, the same thing happened to Brigetta. They had to amputate her arms and her legs. It was a virus. She was in Princess Alexandra Hospital for a long time. I remember going to visit her with Carmel. I was very touched by her wonderful attitude to what had happened to her and her beautiful family.
Well, that little baby is 10 years old now and of course going to school. Brigetta and her husband live in a lovely home in Tarragindi. She gets no help from any Government Agency and she does everything for herself. She has artificial arms and legs. She drives a car and she works on Tuckshop at School. She does the ironing (with one of those ironing presses). If you are out with her, at a Restaurant, she has a knife and fork she attaches to her prosthetic hands. She calls for my friend Carmel, every few weeks and they go out to lunch. Brigetta does the driving, as Carmel doesn’t drive. I think she is an absolute marvel the way she has adapted to life. It certainly wasn’t easy at first and she needed a lot of help in the beginning, when she came home from hospital, with a baby to look after as well”.
“I should add, that Brigetta isn’t a religious girl, but must have an inner strength that some of us, can only dream about.”
Lynne Budde, who shares a familiar story with Matthew in that she is a quadruple amputee as a result of Toxic Shock Syndrome: http://amputeeprosthetist.com/category/myoelectric-arms/