A Loss, A New Year, and New Legs

It’s been a while since our last post, not without sad reason, as our Aunt Ruth passed away very suddenly after a battle with advanced ovarian cancer on the 21st of December.

Ruth was a staunch supporter of Matthew, and as the only immediate relative on the Ames side outside of me, Matthew, Rachel, and our parents, she was very close to us. She would visit Matthew regularly from her base in Auckland, and last saw the family in July this year when she travelled to Melbourne to be with Matthew, Diane with the children. Matthew was upset at not being able to travel to be with Ruth in her last few days, due to his being immobile after surgery, and her funeral was held on Christmas Eve, which was the last thing some of us were expecting to be doing as the year drew to an end.

So we have all been a bit sad, but hoping everyone else had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and thanking everyone for their lovely wishes over the past few weeks.

Matthew’s surgery in early December went very well, and he returned to Brisbane after a fortnight in hospital. He has been very good at staying still for the past month, helped largely by televised cricket and lots of babysitting by Na and Papa and others. Matthew had both legs ‘done’, and has been pretty stoic despite a fair amount of discomfort in the first few weeks. The pins look like piercings that come directly out of his skin, and they are attached to Matthew’s bone. Even in the early days, he was excited to know that he had feedback – that is, he could feel the bandages at the end of his new steel stumps, which is pretty amazing.

So today, when he was tilted onto his new legs that bolt on to his new pins (excuse the very simple language that is Katespeak), there was finally a sense that the journey to this point might be worth it. Matthew says they felt ‘normal’. Next week, he moves to bearing full weight if all goes well.

And here’s a photo of Emily, preparing her doll to tilt up with Matthew…


Matthew and his new legs. Note there are no sockets – the legs are attached directly to his pins, and beneath each leg is a set of scales to measure the amount of weight each leg can carry.


So there are some exciting times ahead.

Until next time, and Happy New Year!

6 responses to “A Loss, A New Year, and New Legs

  1. As the very wise Dolly Parton said: ‘The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain’ – I’m sorry you’ve had so much rain of late, but my goodness, that picture of Matthew with the beginning of legs and mobility and independence is like a rainbow. Congrats!

  2. How wonderful that Matthew can receive feelings through his legs!!! He, and I and many others, are lucky to be alive nowadays when there are so many amazing developments in medicine. I’m waiting with bated breath to hear about the beginning of walking. I know that Matthew has done a lot of work improving the strength and responsiveness of his upper legs, so here’s additional confidence from me. Sue Bettison

  3. Sorry about Aunt Ruth – it is difficult at best losing someone close, but at Christmas time it is even more so.
    It’s great to see the wonderful progress on Matthew’s legs and we wish you all the best in the next phase.
    Happy New Year and may 2014 be all you want it to be.
    Cheers David McKillop and family

  4. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL, I have been doing it tough on the high Seas in New Zealand for Xmas & New Year with my elderly Aunt Val from Maldon in Victoria, we had a wonderful time. So sorry to hear your sad news but so pleased to see Mathew almost on his own 2 feet !! I do hope you were able to have some sort of happy Xmas at least for the little ones. Keep up the good work, love to read all the blogs,I am hoping to catch up with Mum & Dad at least this mid year. Love to all,


    On Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 10:13 PM, WordPress.com

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