Diane and Jenny at Will’s birthday in February. Now for an update on the arms. Emotions have ranged from pure joy to complete despair, often in the space of a few seconds. Initially, when Matthew got his new arms, he was rigged up to feed himself. Imagine the feeling of holding food in a fork for the first time. It’s about to provide food to your mouth, and then suddenly the fork drops out of your hand. It’s because the action of moving your arm up to meet your mouth has influenced a muscle in your shoulder that is connected to the prosthetic, and that muscle releases the hand. So it’s a bit like learning to drive a new car, but without all the tools to drive, because Matthew’s stumps are so short that there are limited options for ‘driving’ the prosthetics. He’s determined, though, so has been training himself to do what he can, and life is certainly more independent than it was to an extent. He can now feed himself to a limited degree. He can hold a beer can, and a dagwood dog. Most importantly, he can hold the kids’ hands. Excuse the sound, but here is are some videos of Matthew trying to eat an Easter egg. This first clip demonstrates some of the difficulties associated with short stumps, shoulder movement, and getting smaller objects to his mouth:
Well it’s been a few months and there’s so much to report, and so little in a strange kind of way.
Of most consequence was that we lost Jenny, Diane’s sister, to her battle with cancer a few weeks ago. She was laid to rest here in Brisbane on the 20th of March after fighting a very brave battle right to the end. That so many people turned up to farewell sucha wonderful person said everything about what Jenny meant to her community and her family. She was only 44 and mum to four great kids in Cassandra, Patrick, Damon, and Conan and wife to Bill. This weekend was her family’s first Easter without her. She was a beautiful soul who devoted her life to serving others. There’s not much you can really say except that their and our world is sadder for her passing and will always be so.
And here’s his version of ‘the easy way’:
We were all at Rachel’s for lunch, so the ‘clan’ were together and you can hear the kids having lots of fun hunting for eggs. We were actually lucky to have any left to test Matthew with! Matthew has ordered his new hands, which will be able to rotate, and this will hopefully address some of the challenges he currently faces. The new hands, which are flesh coloured, should arrive in a few weeks. I’ll provide another update then, and in the meantime, thanks for the ongoing support!