I love a good, real life story that really inspires me. You know that sort that leaves you emotional but grateful for all that you have in life. A story that touches you in ways you never thought possible. This story is one which will touch you and leave you overwhelmed with what life deals some people and the strength they have to fight on.
Matthew Ames was a husband, father, son, brother and friend. Life was good. Married to Di, with 3 boys and 1 girl, he was content and loving life. He and Di had one of those love stories which all hopeless romantics love. They met young and knew that each would always be in each other’s life. They knew they would be together, in sickness and in health.
Fast forward to when Matthew was 39. He wasn’t feeling well and had a sore throat. Time went on and he was getting worse and after some time was admitted to the Brisbane Mater Hospital. It took some time for Doctors and medical professionals to work out what was this mystery illness plaguing Matthew. He had contracted streptococcal which resulted in toxic shock and his prognosis for surviving wasn’t good.
Matthew had one arm amputated to try to stop the spread of this deadly disease. He wife Di then made the enormous decision to have his other limbs amputated. To Di, this was what had to happen. To Di, Matthew had to be around to support her and assist her in raising their children. There was no question he was going to be with her every step of the way in their life.
Most of us can’t even fathom having to make a decision like this. Most of us can’t even comprehend having to make a decision which ultimately saves our partners life.
Matthew became a quadruple amputee, one of the very few in Australia and globally.
Life without limbs has presented many challenges for Matthew, however he is an amazing inspiration to all of us.
I think the unsung hero in all of this is his wife, Di. It’s emotional watching her talk about how life is different. The simple gesture of holding hands is no longer possible. Di aches as she talks about this, adding that Matthew had ‘wonderful hands’.
I’m sure we all take this gesture of affection for granted. It’s something so simple, yet so powerful.
The love that exists between Matthew and Di is very beautiful. Matthew’s determination is beyond inspiring. He is committed to being the best father and husband he can be.
I don’t even think I have done this story justice. It was aired on Sunday Night on Sunday September 29 2013. Please take the time to watch this.
Matthew’s sister also runs a blog called ‘Renovating Matthew’. You can read more about Matthew and how you can help.
There are those who take their life and run down a straight road. Any bumps or bends and they struggle to push on. Then there are those that take life and climb mountains. They climb the highest mountains and don’t look back. These are the ones who define inspiration.
How did Matthew’s story affect you?