E-mail from Rachel, Tuesday 4 December, 7.03 pm:
Another few weeks have passed and so much has happened in the world of Matthew. Firstly, our family would like to extend our deepest thanks to all of those who offered and helped out with the BIG DIG on Saturday just passed. We were amazed at the response and thanks to the very amazing men the lift well was completed after a long day of rock, heat and sandwiches. Big thanks to Mum for her effort on the food, although fruit was not the winner on the day! Her sandwiches were though!
After Aaron and I headed overseas, the family took Matthew out for his first full day out with a trip to Australia Zoo. It was a fabulous day for the family and despite the heat and being somewhat tired after a big day, Matthew had a great time. He even fed a camel, and got closer than I would recommend that anyone get to a camel!
The week following the Australia Zoo trip was a busy one, with meetings with service providers, funders etc – all of which had varied results, however the highlight of the week was Darren Lockyer visit. Matthew had been working with the team on a program with Origin regarding safety and Darren was involved – well the team arranged for Darren to visit Matthew and it was a wonderful experience for all, particularly the boys. Darren was great with the kids, very down to earth and made them feel very special in their own way.
The weeks take their toll and Matthew has had some issues to worry about regarding his hip, complications from the infection and ongoing pain to work through. It is not easy and some weeks are better than others. We have comfort that the complications can be overcome however they can be a bit of a blow to the positive world we live in at times. Matthew and Di are amazing in their ability to work manage these, the flow on affect of these on their spirits and then working so hard to keep upbeat for the kids and focused on the future. The support around them through things like the Big Dig have been so helpful – as Matthew came home in the afternoon, it was uplifting for him to feel that we are a little closer to having the lift in and him home permanently.
Matthew has received his right arm and starting to learn the art of moving them around. Not an easy proposition but amazing to watch. Also amazing to watch him slip them on and off all by himself!
So, the best thing so far is that Matthew, aka BOB, got into the pool yesterday. He and I were on the phone today and he asked “what do you call a guy with no arms and legs swimming in a pool”….Bob. We both had a good laugh and he suggested I email a big “Hi from Bob” to you all.
Matthew found it a little scary being in the pool for the first time and has found that his bottom/legs float automatically. He can’t quite get them down yet and while he can flip onto his face, he can’t flip back yet. Which is a bit of a problem in the water. So he and I were talking about the dynamics, floaties and other things we can re-engineer for him to wear in the pool until he can. He will also wear a snorkel next time.
So what next. A big thing. Matthew and Diane are taking the boys up the coast for a week to Caloundra. There is a pool with PWD access and Matthew will be keen to try out his new skills with the kids. Will be a big week and we believe it will be tough but amazing at the same time.
They will then return home for three weeks until early January when Matthew will return to rehab to look to get his legs. This will be interim, the family will live downstairs camped out as such but all the easier as it is school holidays and Christmas time. A carer has been arranged for this time to assist and continue to work with Matthew and Diane to see what works best.
Kate and Jason and the kids move to Brisbane just after Christmas and the silver linings of having the family together continue.
We hope you all have a wonderful lead up to the Christmas break and stay safe.
Take care, Rachel