Pride of Australia – ‘Courage’ Winner (Queensland)

Well, it’s been quite a 24 hours. The overwhelming response we’ve had as a result of last night’s Sunday Night program has been amazing, and a reminder of how important it is to share stories. We were certainly helped by others, and it has been a huge part of Matthew’s recovery, and for all of us. If you missed it, you can see the program here. Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments, and again to the Channel 7 team for doing such a great job with the story. We won’t be able to reply to everyone who has commented or shared stories, but thank you, and please be assured that Matthew and Diane are reading them all, and very thankful for your support.

Matthew arrived home from Melbourne yesterday afternoon, and today attended the Queensland Pride of Australia award ceremony. He was seated at a table with amazing people, and says to be considered as equal to people like Matt Golinski and Nigel Hyland is something he finds very special. He and Di had a wonderful time, and to win the Courage category was completely unexpected and very very humbling.

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The two Matts – Matthew and Matt Golinski, a fellow finalist in the Courage category, and someone who has overcome losing his family – something we find hard to comprehend and have complete admiration for…

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Matthew with Rodney Power, one of the Braking the Cycle team that won the Community Spirit medal

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Matthew and Chris Wighton, winner of the Inspiration category. Chris broke his back in 2012 and has continued his work as a youth worker.

In reflecting on the journey, it’s worth going back to the point we stepped off on the road. I revisited the letter we wrote to our friends on the 20th of June in 2012. Many people may not have read this, and it’s worth sharing again here, because it tells of the start of the journey. In that letter, the last paragraph reads:

Hopefully, the story has a happy ending, and at some point we’ll be able to reflect upon the turning point in our lives with a view to what it gave us all. In the meantime, thank you all so much for hanging in there with us, and we’ll look forward to catching up with you all at some stage.

In telling the story, we have had to revisit the events of the time. But Matthew’s reflection this afternoon was that he has had a unique opportunity to meet the greatest of people as a result of what has happened to him, and he is so incredibly grateful for that. The journey, while unexpected, is as amazingly wonderful as it could possibly be, and he and Di are so incredibly thankful to everyone for your support. Onwards and upwards.

18 responses to “Pride of Australia – ‘Courage’ Winner (Queensland)

  1. Just amazing – I am sincerely struggling with finding new words to explain how much you all mean to us – I only have “we love you and congratuate you for all you are and for all you have achieved”. Definitely onwards and upwards! Love, Caitie, Paul, children & families. xoxo

  2. Matthew you are a true inspiration to men. I saw your and your family’s story last night on Channel 7 and Wow. I’m 51 and try to keep fit with daily training. To see what you deal with on a minute by minute basis has truly amazed me and my friends. We’re still trying to understand the level of your determination and positive attitude. I really don’t know what to say but Congratulations on you being you and thank you for your inspiration. I hope that one day I’m fortunate to meet you and your wonderful family.

      • Kate. I was shocked when I saw this story on the news last night. He is a tough egg to go through this. His story makes our everyday problems look like nothing. If he remembers say hi to him for me and I hope things can only get better for you all, I am sure you and the kids are enough to keep him determined

  3. Mathew and Dianne are the most amazing people ! Can not begin to imagine what you have been through. Your love for each other is inspirational. I wish all the luck in the world .

  4. Wow, what an amazing family. It is so inspiring to see what you have all been through, Matthew you are amazing. Never again will I complain about anything. Your courage is sincerely amazing. Di you are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. I wish you all the happiness you could ever have. My two 17 year olds and husband sat glued to the TV too. The silence was deafning. It certainly had an impact. We are all still processing how you have the courage and strength. Go you! you are awesome. Fund raising here we come.

  5. I think it is wonderful – such a long way fromwhen I saw Matthew working hard with his kids in the Mater Rehab. I was there after a knee replacement and was working hard, too. I have followed your progress ever since, Matthew. I have only respect for the continuing hard work by you and your family. My love to you all.

  6. Your story was inspirational, I cried most of the way through. What you have been through & how you have come through it is amazing. I have just made a donation & do hope you can get your bionic limbs soon. All the very best.

  7. Truly a very inspirational family. Your story touched our hearts. I was very sick with a septic infection foll
    owing a hysterectomy two years ago, was a very scary touch and go
    process for a long time, it just goes to show you how quickly things can
    go wrong. All the best of wishes for you and all your family..You are amazing people. xxxxxx

  8. I too was glued to the tv. Words cannot express the emotions I was feeling and the admiration I have for you and for your wife Di for her courage and support for the love of her life. You have an amazing and supportive family and the kids seem to have inherited both of your strength, beauty and courage throughout this incredible journey. I could not even begin to imagine how I would cope in your situation, I only hope that I could have half of the courage and resolve you and your family have. I have every confidence that you will get lots of support from the people of Australia because thats just who we are. Thankyou for sharing your truly amazing story and for opening a lot of peoples eyes so that they stop focusing on how hard their own life is and put themselves in someone elses shoes, someone like you. Sending you hugs and positive thoughts, Monika and Tom

  9. Matthew you and your amazing family are a true inspiration to all!
    I’m still mopping up the tears after watching your story. The love that you and your beautiful wife have for each other gives me so much hope.
    At the end of the day life truly is all about LOVE isn’t it and your are testimony that LOVE can help you conquer all barriers in front of you.
    Your children are delightful….just amazing how they told their story too!
    I can’t wait to see you on the international speaking circuit some day real soon!
    Your story is an important one to be told. Use it for good and stay shining!
    Jeani xx

  10. I watched the Sunday night show and please dont feel that i am decreasing the loss of your limbs, I dont think I can imagine that loss in any way. But what really struck me was how connected Matt is to his wife, and his children. And how mentally intact he was. I know that probably sounds really weird, but truly I cant help thinking of what a gift he is to his children. That relationship that they as a couple model for their kids, is beyond amazing and so inspiring. The relationship he has with his kids, can only grow and grow. I think in their teen years, when life will maybe be rough, those boys and little girlie have such a safe harbour to come to. You might not be able to do the physical side as much – although you are still doing so much IMO – but the emotional and mental side is so uplifting for your kids.

  11. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story with Australia. Our family has recently battled cancer and depression, so we were all equally inspired by both Matthew’s unwaivering positivity and determination, and Di’s unquestioning support, during something more challenging than any one of us could conceive. We wish you all a well-deserved healthy and happy life, and applaud your courage and strength.

  12. Oh my goodness! There is probably not much more I can say than what is already being said and felt around the whole country but….you both as a couple amaze me. The unconditional love and respect you have for one another is rare to witness not to mention your strength. You both are an inspiration and you filled my heart with love and hope. Thank you

  13. The courage shown by you and your family is just amazing! I wonder if you realise the hope that you give to everyone by facing your obstacles head on! I am following your story with absolute interest and optimism and I look forward to being able to help in any way that I can. xo

  14. I’ve just cried and cried and cried. You are an inspiration. My husband had this same thing 5 months ago when I had just had a baby. We thought it was the man flu and gastro, when the pain got unbearable we called an ambo. The Strep A was in his bloodstream and was eating his left foot. We are fortunate that his life and his limbs were saved thanks to the staff at Royal Melb. I will definitely be donating to your beautiful family xx

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