Matthew Ames with his wife Diane, and their three sons and young daughter. Water therapy .. Matt Ames frequently exercises in the pool.
Matthew Ames was at home on Monday morning adjusting to national media attention and life with titanium rods embedded in what remains of his limbs.
The Brisbane father and quadruple amputee returned from Melbourne at the weekend after undergoing one of many rounds of surgery to become Australia’s first bionic man.
He has titanium implants attached to what remain of his limbs – the first stage of his lengthy osseointegration procedure.
If all goes to plan, later in the year he will have more surgery to link the implants with even more titanium on which bionic prosthetics can be attached.
It all started 15 months ago, when the Origin Energy engineer – who lives with his wife Diane and four children in a Queenslander in Camp Hill in Brisbane’s east – began feeling like he was coming down with the ‘‘man flu’’.
A week later he was in the Mater Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit in an induced coma and on life support.
A deadly form of streptococcal bacteria had penetrated his bloodstream. His kidneys had failed and his body was toxic.
‘‘He had a 99 per cent chance of dying,’’ Matthew’s son Luke, 9, said in a special episode of Channel Seven’s flagship current affairs program, Sunday Night which drew more than 2.12 million viewers nationally.
Matthew’s younger sons Ben, 8, and Will, 7, added: ‘‘And only a 1 per cent of living.’’
Triumphantly Will concluded: ‘‘And the 1 per cent won against the 99.’’
Matthew’s family – parents Christine and Roy, sisters Kate and Rachel, and wife Diane – were told Matthew’s only chance of survival was to have his four limbs removed.
For Diane, the choice was easy. She could not allow the pair’s sons and daughter Emily, 3, to grow up without a father.
Matthew emerged from his coma to find he had no arms or legs.
The 40-year-old is slowly getting used to a few more people knowing about his story, his sister Kate told Fairfax Media.
On Monday, he is attending a Pride of Australia Medal ceremony for which he has been nominated in the courage category, alongside Sunshine Coast chef Matt Golinski who lost his wife and three daughters in a Boxing Day 2011 house fire.
‘‘We initially told his story because we wanted to raise his profile in Brisbane for the kids … so people wouldn’t stop and stare,’’ Kate said.
‘‘We’re not sure what to expect now that his story has aired across Australia.’’
Kate said watching the program about her younger brother was overwhelming.
‘‘We’re really glad to have told this story,’’ she said.
‘‘We underestimated what impact it would have in a positive way on people.’’
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