E-mail from Rachel, 19 March at 10 pm:
Well it has been a while since we have updated you all on how our Matthew and the family are. And the news is all good – so much has happened since we last sent news that I don’t quite know where to start!
Matthew has faced a few more medical challenges and has found some more hearing loss in his other ‘good’ ear so when you speak to him, just speak a bit more loudly. Other than that, all is looking ok.
And really, the best milestone to date. Matthew went home on Friday last week. Home for good. After his return to rehab after Christmas and continued work on his strength and stability, he decided it was time to return to a more normal environment. I spoke to Diane this afternoon and Matthew was in the back yard playing ‘statues’ with the kids after school. Ben was trumping everyone with his stealth SAS moves before Matthew spun around.
So the routine will change. Di is doing all of this with the help of the usual suspects – thank you again. A carer will come for two hours each morning for Matthew. It will not be easy, many challenges ahead and the lift is still a few months away so Diane will get many a workout as she races up and down the stairs. But they are all together. Matthew will now go into rehab as a day patient three times a week. He will spend other days continuing to focus on recovery and looking for better options for his arms and legs, and doing homework and playing with the kids.
Matthew’s journey with his arms and legs continues, and he is now able to walk unassisted for short periods. Matthew has also consulted with a few medical teams with regard to some surgical options for pins to assist with prosthetics. This did involve a trip to Sydney for Matthew and Diane a few weeks ago, which was a very positive experience both in the travel journey itself as well as the medical consult. They were upgraded to business class and Diane was thrilled. She told the story that if ‘Matthew could have hit me, he would have! I think I embarrassed him with how excited I was to be in business class’. It was a long day for them, however Matthew came back with a positive and excited view of options and he is still considering and exploring the path forward.
The first fundraising event was held at the end of February. It was organised by an amazing group of friends and colleagues of Matthew’s and was an amazing success. It was a movie night, with a few drinks and nibbles prior to it. It gave Matthew his first opportunity to speak to a group and it was wonderful. The funds being raised will go towards the renovatingmatthew Foundation which is being created to raise funds to pay for the best arms and legs we can find for Matthew. Watch this space as more events take shape.
…and as to the future. Well who knows but Matthew gave me, and a small priveleged group, a glimpse of where it may go. I had asked Matthew if he might address a group of people currently undertaking an eight week challenge at a PT studio I go to. They were all half way through their challenge and we thought it might be good to hear Matthew’s story. At 6.30 at night, Matthew came along and in the studio shared an utterly compelling story about what it means to have goals; and how having goals are are what kept him going, day by day from getting each line out while in ICU to finally going home. How, no matter how hard things seem to get, if you know why you started out in the first place, you can always re-set and focus on that goal.
And, well now he is home. I think this story is now just beginning.
Have a wonderful few weeks and we will be in touch.
Rachel (who will now be very happy that her recalcitrant bigger sister has finally updated the blog!).