Matthew Ames, 39-year-old father of four, thought he had a bout of man flu. Very quickly, a seemingly ordinary illness became a severe case of toxic shock syndrome. The common bacteria Streptococcus A had entered his bloodstream and his body had gone into shutdown. The only way Matthew could be kept alive was to have all four limbs amputated. While he was in an induced coma, his wife, Diane, had to make the decision for him.
Diane was unwavering in her decision to do everything possible to keep her husband alive and so begins the remarkable story of a man and his family's resilience and determination to make the most of a terrible situation.
In June 2012, as surgeons agreed to remove his limbs, Matthew's chance of survival was one per cent. And if he survived, he might have had brain damage or have been so severely affected by side effects that his quality of life would be questionable. Yet Matthew Ames has beaten the odds at every turn. He is an engaged father to four children aged between three and ten, and devoted husband to Diane. He has never questioned Diane's decision to keep him alive.
This family's strength is formidable. They do not give in. They face facts and find a way to make all their lives as normal as possible.