Matthew has recovered really well from his operation, and he and Di are due back in Brisbane tomorrow.
Some of you would be aware that tomorrow night, Matthew’s story will be featured on Sunday Night, Channel 7 after the X Factor.
It’s a big step for us, and came about after media interest generated as a result of the article about Matthew published in the Courier-Mail in June. It took some time to consider how we would proceed, because Matthew needed to be really clear about why he would tell his story more widely. When I wrote the article, we were motivated by the desire to raise Matthew’s profile in Brisbane so people wouldn’t stare; rather, they would know who he was and that would be of comfort to the kids. That worked!
The feedback from that article, however, also made it very evident that many people were personally affected in a positive way, and we still need to raise funds for the first set of prosthetics. So, Matthew and Diane placed their lives in the hands of Lisa Ryan, producer, and her team at Sunday Night, and we have all been working with them closely over the past six weeks or so.
We have not seen the story and won’t before it airs, but the time spent with Lisa, fellow producer Alex, and cameramen Rowan, David, Aaron, and Gerard has been thoroughly enjoyable. The team couldn’t have been more accommodating, hardworking, and fun to work with in sometimes pretty interesting circumstances. We are very glad that Chris, the underwater cameraman survived a party session in the pool with twenty odd people kicking around above him…
It was also a great privilege to meet Mike Willesee, who took great care with everyone and won over the children, as you will see tomorrow night.
We were worried about how the kids would go, but we shouldn’t have been. Emily got to go shopping with Lisa and fell in love with her cameramen, particularly Rowan; Luke got to direct the kids (“Emily, can you please move – the camera can’t see me”); Will got to perform; and Ben got to be Ben.
We’re also extremely grateful to all the medical staff who agreed to be part of the story. Those you will see are the tip of the mammoth iceberg of medical support we have received over the past year since Matthew had his operation, and hopefully everyone who has had anything to do with his journey will get some sense of achievement in Matthew’s success.
A few of us have cried at the promos, so I think it’s going to be an emotional night for some of us as we go back over the story, but I think we’re feeling glad to have the opportunity to tell it as Matthew moves on to a new stage. We have no idea what lies ahead as it feels a bit like stepping off a cliff. However, the amazing Sam Bailey, featured on Australian Story, was kind enough to contact us earlier this year. He and Matthew had a good talk the other night about what to expect.
Sam’s words were: “Just enjoy it.” Great advice, and thanks!