LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 13th August:
Mathew is currently receiving treatment in the rehab facility at Derby Royal Hospital, where he has been showing huge improvement over the past month or so.
Whilst in rehab, Mat is on an intensive programme of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech & language therapy- all of which seem to be paying dividends as his recent progress has been remarkable.
The most striking fact is that Mat is now able to speak and join in with a conversation. A good deal of his speech is difficult to understand at the moment but he is constantly working to rebuild the muscles in his face and tongue to be able to articulate himself more clearly (he hasn’t spoken for a year, after all).
Mat is still yet to move on to solid foods again but is able to take spoonfuls of fruit juice and water by mouth and we are hoping that it won’t be long before that is gradually stepped up to something closer to the real thing.
The other main physical improvement is that Mat is moving about a good deal- holding the phone to his ear to speak to Anda (his fiancée), moving his legs and trying to get out of bed as well as simple things like turning to face whomever is talking to him at the time.
WIth the physical improvements, it has become a lot easier to gauge Mat’s mood and, when I last saw him, he seems to be in good sorts. He’s been enjoying watching the Olympics and was laughing when I asked him what he thought about the shocking Team GB football team.
All in all, he’s doing incredibly well.
LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 1st December 2011:
I’ve just got back to Hull after visiting Mat for about 5 days. Mat is still in a low awareness state. We are not sure if Mat can hear us but we still chat to him, touch him, kiss him, play him music and hope that he can feel our love. When more alert Mat opens and moves one of his eyes and moves his mouth, we hope this is in response to us, but we can never be sure…. We have also seen him move his foot and hand a little. Mat is still having temperture spikes which they suspect may be being caused by infections but they are still not entirely sure. They are still giving Mat very strong anti-biotics on a precautionary measure at the moment. Mat is also going to have another MRI this week to check nothing new or different is happening in his brain. Once Mat is more medically stable, stops having temperture spikes, they are wanting to assess Mats responses/awareness in detail. The most common type of assessment carried out on people with low awareness is called a SMART assessment. Unfortunatly there’s no one trained in Derby to do this, so Mat will have to move again. We are really hoping and praying that Mat will wake up soon. We spoke to a neuro-rehab consultant a few days back and she said in her expereince it really is still early days. A couple of Mats friends have visited Mat – thanks Jon and Martin. If any of Mat’s other friends would like to visit mat please get in touch – it will be nice for Mat to hear different voices and maybe some fun memories/stories you shared with each other. As a family things are really tough for us as time goes by and Mat still not awake. We are all very emotionally and physically drained, but we still have hope. Thanks again for all the support everyone has given us love karen*
– Karen Taylor
LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 15th November 2011:
A quick update roughly paraphrased from the Derby Evening Telegraph article:
Mat is now receiving treatment closer to home after being transferred to Royal Derby Hospital. He was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre, in Nottingham, but has now been moved to Derby so he can be closer to his family.
His father, Darrell, said his son was in the high-dependency ward but would be transferred to the King’s Lodge unit – which provides rehabilitation to patients with complex neurological disabilities – once a bed became available.
Before being transferred, Mathew had an operation to fit a feeding tube into his stomach, to replace one which had been in his nose. While in Nottingham, Mathew’s family had put up photos in his room to make it “homely” for him.
They said they had now done the same thing in Derby.
Darrell, of Trowels Lane, said:
“He’s in a stable condition and is in a pretty good place, so we’re very happy he’s been transferred. We continue to read and talk to him because it all helps with stimulation and he will be much more comfortable now he has had the feed peg fitted.”
LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 21st October 2011:
I’ve just spoken to Darrell and had a message from Heather at lunchtime so I’ll update you all with what I have been told by them. Mathew’s operation this morning went as well as can be expected and the surgeon was pleased with it. The surgeon spoke with Darrell, Heather and Simon this afternoon about what he was able to do during the keyhole surgery. He has corrected the fluid flow by creat…ing channels and the fluid is now flowing properly between the different chambers in Mathew’s brain. He is comfortable and stable and the doctors say the family and the medical team must now wait to see if there is any progress as a result of the operation. It will not be quick but over several days when we will all be watching for some signs of Mathew progressing…
– Sandra Taylor
LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 19th October 2011:
The family do want to thank you all for your on-going support and for all the concern you have for Mathew and the family. The family know that this is a time when you all are wanting to know how Mathew is (belss you all for that) and we want you to know that as soon as the family have clear advise/ updates from doctors then we will always try to make sure that we share it with you all. You have been and continue to be such good and true friends that you are all like family too.
The first thing I know you will all want to know is that Mathew is comfortable, his temperature is fine and all of his vital signs are normal. He is being fed by a tube into his stomach and he is digesting his food well. Whilst at the moment he is still in an isolation bed in the intensive care section of the hospital, doctors believe he is stable enough to be moved quite soon to a normal ward, where he will however still need an isolation room until doctors are absolutely sure he is free from infectious bacteria. Mathew does have a large scar across the top of his head and some denting at the side but his face appears unharmed and he looks just as you would expect. All in all he looks like a patient who has been through some quite tough challenges but who has fought hard to come through.
As I have said previously the real worry about Mathew is that he has still not become fully conscious. As Ruth and Mark have said because of this, this is a worrying time for the family and there was a meeting today with Mathew’s doctors including his neuro surgeon. The surgeons are still very positive and hopeful for Mathew’s eventual recovery and are going to perform an operation on Friday to try and resolve some problems they think there is with the fluid flow in Mathews brain. Like all operations there are normal risks but they feel quite satisfied that this should be a procedure which should go relatively well. Naturally the family are worried about this, but very pleased that the doctors feel there is good hope for Mathew.
We’ll keep you updated. Thank you for all you are continuing to do for the family and a special thankyou to St Georges congregation in Singapore who are still continuing to fundraise. Also Anda. Mathew’s sunshine (she told me today) – keep shining!
With love, Sandra
LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 13th October 2011:
I have just got back from the hospital from seeing Mathew. Heather and Darrell (Mum and Dad) have asked me to post something here so that you all know what is happening. Firstly they want me to say how wonderful it is to have all of your love and support and the financial help you have already raised and continue to provide. Your prayers, determination, love and hopes for Mathew, keeps them bouyed amongst the storms that have been and continue to be faced.
It is just lovely to see Mathew finally here in Nottingham and safe and secure being looked after by absolutely great doctors and nurses who cannot do enough for him and the family. It is also tremendous and very emotional to have Heather and Karen back with the family and to try and properly appreciate and recognise just what they have already done for Mathew and give them the time love and comfort they deserve, when he is still so very ill and needs so much of our love and time. They and Anda have been so selfless over many months and even now Heather and Karen are first and last at the hospital and Anda on the phoine to keep in contact and send her love daily.
You will have heard his doctor on TV saying that Mathew is a very sick young man, and he is. The doctors have undertaken a battery of tests and scans and this is continuing. In fact we are all home early from the hospital tonight as they wanted to take him for another CT scan. It is heartbreaking for us all to see him so ill. He is still carrying the complex infections and bacteria from Bali and so is being teated in an iscolation room so that the germs do not spread to others. We all wear gowns and gloves and masks to see him and have to wash our hands and use gel scrupilously.
Mathew is still largely unconscious and not reseponsive and this is causing great concern to the doctors in terms of what level of recovery he can make from his injuries and infections. The doctors are exploring a number of avenues which they have discussed and explained to the family and they cannot at the moment be certain what is actually going on with Mathews brain and conciousness until they have explored all possibilities and each avenue of enquiry. For example we know that to try and combat the bacterial infections Mathew was subjected to a very toxic level of antibiotics – the doctors are wanting to explore whether his consciousness will improve as they withdraw the particularly toxic drug he was on (the best way to describe this is to compare it with chemotherapy which whilst killing the canncer cells also kills ordinary cells and so whilst having chemotherapy people are very ill and have lots of dreadful side effects – the doctors are examining if Mathew is suffering a similar effect from toxic drugs). At the moment there is a lot of medical uncertainty and the doctors have told us that this is probably going to be the case for some time yet.
This is so very difficult for all of us – the family, friends, Anda so may many miles away now, all of us who love Mathew. We so want him to get well and somewhere inside him I feel and know that he does too – he is a fighter, but goodness he is having to fight so many different fights. I am not able to give you the news I want to – that all is going to be OK, because we simply do not know at the moment. But we have all said it before and we say it again, whilstever Mathew has even the smallest glimmer of hope to come through his battles we will be there fighting for him.
With love to you all,
LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 10th October 2011:
The latest update is that Mathews Frankfurt plane arrived three minutes late (8.08am). Mathew is absolutely fine; comfortable and stable. He has now been transferred to a ground ambulance and is on his way up the motorway to Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham. Darrell has set off to be at the hospital for when Mathew arrives. Simon has gone to Heathrow to pick up Heather and Karen and bring them back home.
Mathew will be admitted to the Adult Intensive Care Unit at QMC. Only close family will be allowed to visit at this time. The family will keep everyone updated on how he is over the next few days. Absoutely brilliant that he is home here in the UK and that he has been stable and safe throughout the transfer. I cannot tell you how relieved we are.
Aunty Sandra sending love to all.
LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 5th October 2011:
Hi all,Well this is the post I have been waiting for three months to write. We have definite clearance. Mathew will be coming home on a flight booked for Sunday night and will arrive in the UK early on Monday morning and be transported by ambulance to the hospital (Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham) from the airport (Heathrow). Heather and Karen will be travelling with him.We are so relieved and so so looking forward to being able to see him. We have to remind ourselves that he is still very seriously ill, and we have to prepare ourselves for that. Heather and Karen have of course been seeing that reality every day. We know it but it is different when you see someone you love so poorly.We have to pay the final hospital bill and are short! Can anyone who has raised any money and not paid it in please please please pay it into the account as there is always a fear that the hospital will not release him until all their bills are paid.Can Debbie and friends in Scotland get the news to Mark – that will urge him on: he’ll have to turn round and cycle back to see Mat in hospital!The support Mathew and family has received and all the efforts of everyone have gone into where we are today. Keep at it. There are horrid loans to repay! There are still some hurdles (like the actual flight) to go through before he is home.Love to all,Sandra XXXX
LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 3rd October 2011:
We have medical approval to fly Mathew home. Just a few more hurdles – Civil Aviation Authority etc and then it will happen God willing.
Aunty Sandra XXX
LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 24th September 2011:
As you know Mathew has been very ill during this time with further attacks on his sytem by the bacteria which he has had since Bali and which is resistent to antibiotics – making it very dangerous to someone like Mathew who has serious head injuries from hs crash. He has come through this but as you may imagine this has left him considerably weakened and his consciousness is at the moment quite minimal. However the surgery he underwent has been successful in sealing the cracks and air leakages in his dura (inner lining of the skull).
His consultants believe he may now be brought home to the UK and so the family are going to try and achieve this in the coming week as long as Mathew’s condition remains broadly stable. This is tricky as he does still have infections and other difficulties, but we hope it can be achieved.
As you have no doubt heard in the press Darrell (Mathews Dad) and Heather (Mathew’s Mum) and Simon her second husband, have now spent an enormous amount of money from their savings and pension plans. They may not have sufficient left to pay for the flight – we are currently getting quotes form the air ambulance companies and are trying to get clear from the Singapore hospital exactly what Mathews needs will be during a repatriation flight. If you have any money still to pay into Mathew accounts from fundraising already held, can I beg you PLEASE PLEASE put it into the account now as we need it to get Mathew home. Extended family are looking to see if they can take out any loans to help, but things are now very very close to the edge. Mathew has fought so hard to hang on in there so far – we would be devastated not to get him home because we have not got enough money left.
Thank you so much for all the efforts you have made to date and to those of you who have already so generously donated and have already paid in sums raised by fundraising events. If you have any outstanding please do let us have this urgently.
You can be assured that every single penny raised or donated has gone to pay for Mathews treatment and flights – this can be independently audited and verified as correct.
Please pray for Mathew and the family in this difficult time.
Aunty Sandra Taylor
PS Can I also thank you for your kind good wishes whilst I have been ill myself. I have had a serious chest and throat infection following flu.
LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 12th September 2011:
Due to working so hard to do everything she can for Mat, Sandra is now quite poorly and needs to rest to get well. So I will try and give you some updates on Mat until Sandra is well enough. As Sandra has said Mat has been battling with several serious infections and has been put on some really strong anti-biotics. Mat has been responding positively and signs of infection are coming down again! HOORAYYY! Although we thought Mat was clear of infection, we now know he is not completely clear and therefore needs to stay on powerful anti-biotics for sometime longer. Mat will not be able to fly home until the infections are sorted. Mat is still very ill due to infections/anti-biotics but we are really hoping that this week he will begin to turn a corner. Mat is completely exhausted. Most days he is being seen by various dr’s, assessed, scanned etc. All of this for someone in Mats condition is exhausting, but necessary. NUH have assured us they are doing everything they can for Mat. Despite being so ill, weak and exhausted Mat has once again started to respond to us, nodding to questions and smiling at our bad jokes. Mat has restarted rehabilitative pyshio today again after having a break for several days. Again, despite how ill he is trying really, really hard. We continue to tell him how much he is loved by so many people. We hope this love will bring him through this critical time. Please keep doing everything you can for Mat and keep fighting hard to raise money for him….once he’s well enough, we need to have enough dosh to get him home, nearly all of the money we have has been spent on paying for life saving treatment. None of the treatment Mat has is unnecessary – all vital and all very expensive. Thank you or your love, support, prayers and fund raising efforts. Mat so lucky to have you all *
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•*¨) KAREN *
– Karen Taylor (Mat’s Sister)
LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 9th September 2011:
It is almost a week since I last updated you. This delay is beacuse it has been a very difficult time for Mathew and so difficult to know what to write. Having done so well after the surgery he again was attacked by the infections that he has had since being in Bali. These infections are very serious bacteria which are resistant to most antibiotics. Last week they attacked his system and so he has had to have some very dangerous treatment and he has again been very very ill.
I am writing now as I have been able this morning to speak with the doctor treating Mathew and he now assures me that Mathew is clear of the infection in his main organs and they are hopeful that he will now again start to improve.
This has been a nightmare week for the family, and both there and here we are all emotionally exhausted with our fear for Mathews life. He is also of course weak and tired from all the infections he has had to fight, on top of the surgery, but his conscious level is now good despite the extensive medication he is on.
Your support for Mathew and the family is always in our minds. Your love and prayers keep us bouyed up even when things have been so difficult as they have in this last week.
Bless you all, and good wishes for the disco in Newhall tonight. Hope it is a blast and am sorry not to be there recalling my youth, but am knackered and still not over the flu and laryngitus.
Aunty Sandra XXX
———————————————————————————————————————- LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 2nd September 2011:
Mathew continues to make generally good progress, and his scan results are generally positive. They are going to be doing some further checks tomorrow regarding ensuring there is no air in the skull , and are starting to make assessments asto when he might be fit to fly, but that is still several days off yet. They are pleased with the surgery and think that the fractures are sealed.To…day there is more good news of Mathew being sat up on the side of the bed, and although wobbly (well you would be wouldn’t you if you had been laying down for 8 weeks) he was able to do this. Also good news in that his white blood cell count is coming down which means that he is getting on top of infections.So we wait like you for him to be sufficiently recovered from the surgery last week, fo him to be brought home along with Karen and Heather. Cannot wait and it cannot come soon enough.Love, Aunty Sandra XXX
As you all know Mathew had intensive neuro surgery lasting 18 hours just 7 days ago. He is doing well. He is doing physio; has been sat up in bed assisted by the electronic bed; and is indicating via nodds that he understands what is asked of him. He is obviouslky very weak and also has not yet totally eradicated the infections that were the main cause of his serious decline to near death. We remain worried about these but he does seem to have them under control now.He is hopefully beign scanned again today to see how well the surgery has gone in plugging the fissures and gaps in his skull (the main reason he was not able to be flown back home in case air got back inside his skull). Hopefully they will advise us of how well things are healing and when it might be possible for him to come back home.We do need you to keep trying to raise everything you can as the bills for the surgery and the on-going medical treatment are rapidly depleteing what the family had set aside with your help, for the flight home. We would hate to be in a position where Mathew was fit to fly, but we had not been able to raise the funds for that.
Pleae please keep doing all that you are doing and please please keep trying to get others to help.Love, Aunty Sandra
Everyone who knows about neuro surgery will tell you there are good and bad days; Saturday was not a good day for Mathew, but Sunday was a brilliant day. He worked really hard at his physio and was able to do a lot of important exercises to aid his recovery. He is obviously weak and still has infections which are being treated but even so he was exercising with (according to Karen) VIGOUR. Karen and Heather were really pleased yesterday with how Mathew was progressing, so it was a day full of sunshine and hope for all the family. Monday was not as good but generally Mathew is going in the right direction and whilst weak from surgery and all he has had to surmount, is continuing to maintain his stable vital signs and holding his own against the infections.
– Sandra Taylor (Mat’s aunty)
Mathew is continuing to improve and is stable. Still obviously in post operative recovery, but is as well as he has been since the accident. It will be several days like this and then hopefully we will make the next big break through which is for him to have his tracheotomy removed so that he can start to talk. He is sqeezing hands and smiling to indicate he does know what is ahppening and who is with hi. Karen and Hetaher continue to do an absolutely marvellous job out there both looking aftre Mathew and ensuring he gets the very best possible attention.
Mathew is continuing to do well, he remains off the ventilator now; has a stable temperature and also good vital signs. He’s been moved from Intensive care (ICU) to High dependency (HDU) so this is all very positive. He does however still have some nasty infections which are posing some difficulties to get on top of. But as we all now know, he’s a real fighter for life and has come through so many hurdles to get this far, and he’ll keep fighting all the way.…Love, Aunty Sandra
OK all I promised an update on Mathew after surgery.I should say ALL OF THIS comes from Karen who is just an absolute marvel at both dealing with all the emotions of being right there in Singapore; dealing with all the practical aspects of making sure everything goes as well as possible for Mathew; and also keeping the whole family informed and upto date. A super star if ever there was one!So in summary, Mathew is doing really really well and the surgeons are very pleased with what they have been able to do and how Mathew was throughout the surgery. The surgeons believe they have closed all the holes/ fractures and fully sealed the skull now but it will be a little time before they can be 100% certain that air cannot get in there again. They have also done further plastic surgery in the brow and eye socket area as well as the jaw (all the areas badly fractured in the crash). Mathew is recovering quite quickly and physio will start tomorrow. His temperature is back to normal and all his vital signs are good. So all in all all the family is feeling much relieved and the news is Brilliant!…Thats all for now, Love, Aunty Sandra XXX
As you know Mathew was moved to the National University Hopsital in Singapore on Monday. He had lots of pre-operation tests and scans on Monday and Tuesday and today was taken for neuro and plastic surgery commencing at 10.30am,Initially… it was planned as a five hour operation and as the surgeons did not know exaclty what they would find they were cautious about how much could be done in a single operation. In fact it appears that it has gone much better than expected and consequently the operation has continued throughout the day/evening and we are advised that the surgeons are doing all the repair work and other neuro surgery that is needed, in one go. At about 10.30pm our time the family texted from Singapore saying the surgeons had been out to say that Mathew was doing well and to explain what was being done. They advised that they would continue for about another 3-4 hours. It sounds very hopeful and we”ll keep you updated on Mathews progress over the next day or so.Love to all, Aunty Sandra
You are all amazing and the family cannot thank you all enough for what you are doing to raise funds; to raise Mathew’s plight to those who ought to be able to help; to give the family love and support on both sides of the globe; and to just raise our spirits, hopes, and confidence that we will get Mathew well and we will get him back to the UK. Thank you so very much from us all.As you know Mathew was transferred to the National University Hospital in Singapore today (Monday). He is in the intenisve care unit and he will have the neuro surgery he needs very shortly. We received the final bill from Gleneagles (about $46,000 – £24,000) and also had to put a deposit of £10,000 into the new hospitals accounts. Fortunately the air ambulance company gave all the money we had paid back and this is now being used for the hopsital bills above. Obviously we wont have anyting left for air repatiration when Mathew is well enough to fly, but with your help we will raise that.We’ll let you know how things go for Mathew this week, but just so you know he is doing very well and yesterday was smiling at jokes!Love to you all, Aunty Sandra
LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 20th August 2011:
This has been a very stressful and demanding time. After having taken a great deal of medical advice, and having arranged flights and all the necessary things to bring Mathew back to the UK, we just could not be 100% confident that he would not be damaged by the flight. We have spoken to doctors on both sides of the Atlantic and finally late last night stood down the air ambulance arrangements and the medical team who were to fly with Mathew. We will receive a 100% refund so the money is not lost.
It is very difficult to try to explain what has been happening and why things have changed. Inside our skull and behing our face are very many fine delicate small bones which hold our mouth, nose, eyes etc in place. In Mathews accident these were all shattered and although he had plastic surgery in Bali and looks perfectly OK, there are still small holes and breaks in this area. In a flight it can be possible that air can get into the brain through these holes and if that were to happen brain injury or death could occur. Finally we were just not 100% sure enough to take the risk.
Mathew is now being transfered to another hospital in Singapore which has top notch neuro surgery facilities and specialists who will perform operations on Mathew to ensure all these breaks and holes are repaired. It is therefore going to be a little while yet before we can bring Mathew home.
We felt our and your disappointment is as nothing comapred with ensuring Mathew is safe and his life comes first wherever he is in the world.
So we dont yet know how much this surgery is going to cost, but a lot! We will need all of your help and more to raise the funds to pay for all of this – is there anyone out there who has lots to give to ensure this treatment takes place? We will get Mathew home after all of the surgery has ben completed.
All for now,
LATEST UPDATE ON MAT 16th August 2011:
Hi All,Just to let you know the doctors in Singapore have said that MATHEW IS FIT TO FLY. We have spent all this morning talking to the air repatriation companies, airports, hospitals etc etc so forgive me if we dont have much time to fill you in over the next 48 hours as it is going to be pretty hectic, but we are hopeful that if all goes to plan we will get Mathew and family back to the UK on ei…ther Saturday or Sunday all being well.Keep trying to raise as much as you can as the bills are horrendous and the family will need all you can raise to pay them. Thank you again for being so wonderful.Love to you all,Aunty Sandra– Sandra Taylor (Mat’s aunty)
Mathew is really comfortable tonight, his temperature down to normal and all his vital signs are very good and stable. We are waiting for the neuro surgeon to consider his CT scans to decide if Mathew can be flown back this week or not. We hope to know sometime tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
– Sandra Taylor (Mat’s aunty)
… FABULOUS NEWS EVERYONE – today they have taken Mathew off his ventilator and he is now breathing independently with an oxygen mask. They’ll keep putting him back on the ventilator to give his body time to rest but he now does not need it to survive. Just wanted you to share our joy and to dance round your kitchens as I have danced round mine. Looks like we might be on for a flight home next wek.
Love to you all, Aunty Sandra– Sandra Taylor (Mat’s aunty)
“Mathew is still continuing to improve and the medical reports now say things like “slight” and “mild” when talking about his infections rather than the alarming words used last week! We are really hopeful that this next week will see him back in the UK if all goes well”– Sandra Taylor (Mat’s aunty)
“Mat is still fighting very nasty infections which is the critical issue for his at the moment. Despite being on very strong antibiotics he is still having fevers. As I write this they are draining fluid from his lung as they think this may be infected too. Mat is responsive to our voices still but unable to speak due to tracky in his throat. We are not sure if Mat can see us. He has a sunken eye socket on one side so it is possible that he is seeing double and maybe not at all. Other eye lid is shut. Mat has been rated as a 4 on Glasgow coma scale. Please google this for more info. As mats infections clear we hope to see more responsiveness from him. As soon as we get the go ahead that he is well enough to fly we will be on that plane. Overall Mat is still critically ill but despite all the infections his heart is good, breathing good, he’s responding well to food intake and becoming more alert. Please keep fund-raising for Mat – costs here are £4,000 per day on average love to you all K*”
– Karen Taylor (Mat’s sister)