Progress Report – Friday 17 August

Hi there everyone,

Well it’s been a really really huge week for everyone. It started with a visit home on Sunday for two hours. Here’s Rachel’s update, sent by e-mail, Sunday 12 August at 9.36 pm:

Today was a very big day in our lives. Matthew came home for two hours today as a surprise for Luke’s birthday.

Diane had arranged for a small family gathering for us all to celebrate Luke’s 9th birthday.

After being in rehab since Wednesday, Matthew has been working every consultant, physio and OT to convince them he should get a leave pass for Sunday.  It took a lot of convincing, promises by Matthew to wear every bit of protective gear and straps … and lots of repositioning etc, however he was able to make the deal.

Aaron and I met him at rehab and we took a cab home to Coorparoo. It was the first time Matthew has been out of the hospital grounds for over 58 days. An emotional journey. We arrived, using code words and messages and managed to sneak Matthew down the side of the house as a surprise for Luke and the kids.

A joyful and delightful series of moments followed, all somewhat tinged with our incredible sadness and grief….yet filled with optimism and awe all at the same time. Matthew assumed the role of referee in a game of adults v kids soccer. Any questioning the ref resulted in immediate ‘off the field’ order. While this was happening I asked Matthew if he was ok and he responded,”yep, I am good. I know I am coming back”.

The smile on Di’s face was priceless. Di went back to rehab with Matthew for the day and we had a lovely time letting all the kids play together.

A very special thanks to Gayle from the family. For all and more. It has been a big day for all but today we celebrated Luke and Matthew and the possibilities to come.


After the party came a week focussing on rehab, and the big excitement was a new electric wheelchair, delivered on Tuesday. Two gym sessions a day are resulting in a six pack from hell, and according to Jacqui, Matthew’s physio, he’s doing amazingly well. He’s able to spend more time sitting up independently, and on Thursday, Matt went for a drive in his wheelchair out and about in Southbank under guidance from his OT Nick. When you think he’s only been in rehab for nine days, it’s really nothing short of amazing.

During the week, Matthew also had a chance to meet Helen Mears, who gave Mum her lucky stone after Helen’s son Scott had recovered and left ICU. You may have read the story earlier in the blog. Mum had returned the stone to Helen a few weeks ago, and this week, Helen and Scott were visiting Brisbane for a check-up. She popped in to see Matthew, who was still in an induced coma the last time she was in Brisbane, and told him the story of the stone and how she had met our family and heard about him. His comment was that he had met this really lovely lady he didn’t know, but she had left a lovely note for Mum. It’s lovely to think that out of an event such as this comes a possibly lifelong relationship.

Here are some of the photos from Luke’s party…


2 responses to “Progress Report – Friday 17 August

  1. Congratulations to you all on pulling off such a massive feat ! What a superb gift for Luke. Whenever I see updates about Matthew I have a smile on my dial knowing what troopers Matthew and Di are but also because the story of the whole family is a true example of the power of love. You are all truly blessed to have each other and continue to be inspirational to the rest of us who are fortunate enough not to endure such challenges. Onwards and upwards Matt !

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