This is the e-mail that was sent to Origin employees on 24 September 2012:
On the 15th of June 2012, our valued colleague and friend Matthew Ames was struck down by a terrible illness. At the time he became ill, Matthew was leading HSSE for Australia Pacific LNG Upstream Phase 1 Project and Queensland CSG, and for many years before, led a variety of Origin HSSE functions, including leadership of our emergency response to the 2011 floods.
To save Matthew’s life, his family had to make some very difficult, life-altering decisions. The extent of Matthew’s ferocious battle was shared with us by his sister Rachel:
“What started for Matthew as a simple sore throat – streptococcal bacteria – progressed to a severe infection and toxic shock over a very short period. The progression of the infection resulted in the loss of all four limbs as full amputations were required to stem the disease that was rapidly killing him. A husband and father of four young children aged between two and eight, Matthew was given a less than 1% chance of survival.”
“Survive he did. He battled the infection for three weeks while in an induced coma, suffering many setbacks. He has now emerged with a will to succeed, a sense of perspective, and gratitude and humour that has demonstrated to everyone, including the medical staff, that the battle to save him was worth it.”
Rachel says “Matthew has a very, very big journey ahead. He is now in rehabilitation and has such a positive and formidable view on this ‘next chapter’ in his life. The support we have had from Origin has been outstanding. Matthew’s life ahead is brighter because of it and we are all very grateful.”
Many of his colleagues have asked his family “how can we help?”
The family has an immediate need for assistance to outfit the car and home at an expected cost of around $100K, as well as the support of what they’re calling Matthew’s “renovation plan” so that he can lead a meaningful and independent life.
Origin’s management has decided to play a part in Matthew’s “renovation plan” by creating an Origin fund to allow his colleagues to contribute and have their contributions matched by the company.If you wish to join in the Renovating-Matthew Ames plan, please direct your cash contributions to:
Account name: Origin Energy Limited
BSB: 032 007
Matthew’s family is also grateful for the support and messages from his colleagues. If you wish to send a message to Matthew, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Zealand | Chief Executive Officer, Upstream
David Baldwin | Chief Development Officer