A new chapter in the journey

It has been a big day in the journey ahead for Matthew, as he recovers tonight from the first of a series of operations on his stumps that aim to improve his quality of life. He and Diane are currently in Melbourne, where Matthew is starting on a procedure known as osseointegration, whereby (in very simple terms) titanium is grafted to his bone. The engineers amongst you might enjoy this site which explains the technique: http://www.branemark.se/Osseointegration.html, and Matthew’s implants were actually manufactured by Branemark. The technology being used can be seen here: http://www.integrum.se/. His surgery has been coordinated by Steven Gray at Melbourne’s AlfredHealth, and his surgery today involved surgeon Dr Philip Slattery and anaesthetist Dr Joe Marich, all of whom have been really wonderful.

It’s been a bit of a journey to get to this point, and a few of us were a bit nervous about more surgery, to put it mildly. Matthew appeared to be very confident, and it was only when a few tears were shed when he awoke this afternoon that he revealed how brave he had actually been.

If things go well, and it’s been a great start, he will have the initial procedures completed on both his leg stumps later this month, and then in December, he will have his stumps ‘lengthened’ just slightly. Sockets are difficult to manage, given the lack of length of Matthew’s stumps, so osseointegration offers a range of new options with prosthetics.

We’re not sure how long he will be in hospital, but the kids are in great hands with Na and Papa over the next week or so.

A few photos are attached, and we’ll keep you posted as to his progress.


Matt at Brisbane Airport 4 June 2013

Matt and Di at Brisbane Airport 4 June 2013


He looked surprisingly chirpy prior to surgery, and any concerns were well hidden.


Out the other side, only a few hours asleep this time! Matt and Di post operation, 5 June 2013. He’s still smiling.

13 responses to “A new chapter in the journey

  1. All the very best for a speedy recovery this time, Matthew. Cheers from the Singletons.

  2. Well done Di and Matt – just as well you chose Melbourne over Sydney, it wouldn’t be too much fun being a Queenslander in Sydney tonight !

  3. Well done Di and Matt – just as well you chose Melbourne over Sydney – it wouldn’t be too much fun being a Queenslander in Sydney tonight !

  4. Amazing stuff Matthew and Di – all the best with your recovery and may your renovations continue with the success you deserve.
    Dave and Ange xx

  5. wishing you only the best
    too hard to me to imagine how you and your wonderful wonderful family and friends are doing I am in awe of of all of you sent with LOVE suzie

  6. The first ‘step’ in the next stage of your journey Matthew and Di. We send all our love and every best wish to you and your wonderful family.Take care Pete and Claire x

  7. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this new phase of Matthew’s progress. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist the family. You are all amazing people whom we admire so much.

  8. Matt, hope all is feeling a little bit more comfortable a few days on from the op – we missed you at the real rugby last night – shame the wrong team won but Mart was very pleased! looking forward to catching up soon. Steph

  9. Matthew and Di, It was great to catch up with you while you were down in Melbourne for the first of this series of operations. You are a wonderful couple, and I just wanted to wish you both a very happy wedding anniversary! Cheers, Durham

  10. Hi Ames family. Lovely to read the update. Our prayers are with you. See you soon back safely in Camp Hill. Leona McLearie

  11. Thoughts and prayers with you both on this next stage of your journey. Sending love, Claire Hicks

  12. Hi Matthew, its Tahnee. I met you last year in the rehab Unit. So fantastic to hear of your progress and search for options. I often wonder what you are up to, as I know you and your lovely family will be giving it your all. All of my best wishes. I hope I am lucky enough to catch up with you again someday.

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