A follow up from Matt’s Quadversary + Letters from the Past

Well yesterday was an emotional one!  Matt’s Quadversary isn’t usually emotional anymore as we are living a full and happy life now 13 years after the fact.  BUT, yesterday I had many people reach out to me after reading the blog and tell “where they were when they found out” stories.  And those make me so emotional for some reason.  Matt’s accident affected so many people on so many levels.  Many people love Matt and they remember exactly where they were when they found out and how they felt and how they heard about it.

Matt was a camp counselor for many years and many CAMPERS were deeply affected by his accident.  One in particular, Jimmy and his mom Audrey were affected as Jimmy adored Matt (and all the guy counselors he had) and when we had a get together at Montana’s (a girlfriend’s father owned it and he held a space for us to come together and “celebrate” Matt and just BE together) Jimmy and his mom came as well.  He was so nervous but I’ll never forget him coming up and hugging me.  Audrey messaged me and told me she still had all the email updates that Sondra had sent to the Camp crew so I asked her to email them to me.  They were pretty powerful- Sondra is an excellent writer.

*Sondra and I in Saint John where I was living.  Anyone was welcome (Matt’s aunt and uncle were so inviting and so giving and I love them for it- who ever was in town was family and invited to stay)

First Update

Hey all.  I hate to do an email update but it’s the fastest way I can think of.  And this way I won’t struggle with my words!

For those of you who have not heard…Matt Kinnie was in a climbing accident in Welsford on Sunday.  He fell 50 feet and broke his neck.  Below is the updated prognosis:

Nick and I just got back from St.John today (Mon.). Matt is still in the ICU.  He is in much better spirits and he actually understands whats going on.  He broke vertibrae C6 and has no feeling below his chest.  He has movement in his upper body and arms but is struggling with his fingers.  They have had him in traction since last night and he is obviously uncomfortable.  The doctor told us last night that there is a 99.9% chance that he will never walk again.  He goes in for surgery today…right now actually, 5:00.  They are going to put a plate in his neck and fish out the debris. Then he won’t need to be in traction anymore.  He was joking with Nick, Mel, Alex and I this afternoon.  He said he’d like to take up dog sledding!  Just like Matt…already up for the next outdoor adventure.  He should be in the St. John hospital for the rest of the week and then they plan to transfer him to the Moncton hospital.  He also has a collapsed lung they think and a broken ankle.  He is the driving positive force at the hospital right now.  All the family and friends visiting feel better once they talk to Matt!  Are any of us surprised?

Mel is staying in St. John with Matt’s family, probably for the rest of the week.  It’s sinking in what a long road the two of them have but she is being remarkably strong for Matt.  They’ve got some big life adjustments ahead but it could have been a lot worse.

If any of you intend to go up and visit you can ask me and I can call and make sure it would be a good time, if you’d like.

Keep praying.  Matt is embarrassed that we’re all thinking of him but he kept saying how loved he feels right now.

Sondra & Nick

***Alex climbing (he was with Matt the day he fell) and some friends and family who stayed with us.

Second Update

Hey everybody.  This is a late one.  Melanie just called 11:40pm Tuesday, Matt is awake but still groggy.  He is sitting up now so that he can take in more oxygen.  Mel explained this to me but it took awhile.   We all know how quickly I catch onto things.  He is still in good spirits and Mel is doing really well.  I think that being there with his family is really good for her.  They’re all talking about the future and it really brings Melanie up.

Now for the questions that you are all waiting for, When can we see Matt?  Well Melanie just talked to me about that.  The doctor said that this is now the critical time.  His system is obviously not as strong as usual so he is very open to infections from colds and the flu.  If you think you are sick or getting sick…might not be the best time.  If you’re like me and just can’t stay away or would like to see Mel and give her comfort anyway I’m sure that would be fine.
Those of you who already made contact with Mel about visiting, as long as you’re not sick that will be fine.

Matt will be at the St.John hospital for another week after this one.  Mel will stay for that week too.  Then they are going to try to transfer him to Moncton to heal which should take a month or so, then back to Fredericton where he will go to the rehabilitation clinic for a few months.

I’ve been talking to Owen and he made a good point. We all want to see Matt now but we need to remember that once all the newness wears off and we go back to life, that’s when he will need us most.  This is a long road and they need us for the whole ride.  If any of you are coming home this weekend and would like to get together some time let us know.  It feels good to be around people who understand….

That’s my newest update…hope it helps.

***We had a big Thanksgiving dinner and party and anyone and everyone who was around was there.
Update Three (Final One)

OK gang!  There are some updates but I am not sure who knows what so I will give you a run down of all the positive things I know about Matt to date.  I would also do the negative things but other than the initial injury everything has gone as good as we could hope!

Here is a summary of all the positive things that happened last week and this weekend:
1. JD Irving is flying Matt to the best rehab in the world..wherever they decide that is.
2. He had sensations in his groin during one of his exercise sessions.
3. He has the use of his chest muscles lower down than originally expected.
4. His diaphram is not paralysed like originally thought, just full of pnemonia.
5. He complained of pain in his hip where they took a piece of bone to repair his vertebrae.  (Pain in a place that should be paralysed?) 🙂
6. He has feeling in his toes when they are touched.  He is able to tell which foot the nurses are touching, he just can’t move them…yet. 🙂
7. Is beginning to breathe more easily on his own.

Considering what the prognosis originally was how can we be anything but happy and optomisitc?  We know that if anyone can overcome this it’s Matt.  You all have no idea how important your love and support is to Matt & Mel…especially Mel.  I noticed a huge difference in Mel after Saturday.  It’s all thanks to you.  I think that she realized that there is a normal life that her and Matt can come back to.  Since the accident Mel’s life has been completely upside down.  She’s lived in St. John and cut contact with all the people she normally sees.  Seeing you all and knowing how much you all care for her and Matt has really put things back into perspective.  She’s gone back to St. John with so much more strength that I know she’ll be even stronger for Matt.

Lauren, Nick and I are thinking Thursday or Friday night to go to St. John.  How are those nights for you?  I’d like it to be later in the week so that we can for sure see Matt and he’ll hopefully have the tubes out of his throat so he can talk to us at least.  Let me know how those days are for you.

Katie, could you scan my list of ppl and see who I am still missing?  Thanks.  Could you email me their addresses if you get a  chance?

Thanks again….love you all.  You have no idea what you’re thoughts and constant communication are doing for Nick and I even!


***Matt making campers do pushups for littering haha, Matt and Owen, and Matt climbing.
Mel Again- my mom corrected me yesterday on a few things from my blog post as my memory was a bit hazy from that time.  She was in the car with us as we drove down to St. John and the doctor told us about Matt’s condition BEFORE his parents got there (she distinctly remembers this because she was SHOCKED they would do this without his parents consent)
What an emotional day it was- and reading about Owen was oddly really emotional.
****Matt is a C6/C7 INCOMPLETE quad, meaning his nerves were damaged but not completely severed, therefore THAT is why he has feeling throughout his entire body, even the paralyzed portions- this is why he could feel his toes.  This was exciting as it gave us hope that maybe he WOULD walk….but it is still a blessing because it warns him about issues on his body like cuts and bruises that could get bad if he didn’t know about them.

2 thoughts on “A follow up from Matt’s Quadversary + Letters from the Past

  1. It is absolutely crazy where our paths lead us in life isn’t it. Surreal to read these updates. Really takes you back. So impressed with the exceptional life you two have created together. XO

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