FOUR months on from a horror house fire in Tewantin, popular chef and caterer Matt Golinski is putting all his willpower into recovering his independence in the Royal Brisbane burns unit.
Matt's tracheal tube has been removed, he is eating solid foods and is now walking short distances in hospital.
However, having received third degree burns to 40% of his body trying in vain to save his wife Rachael and three daughters, Matt is still undergoing intensive rehabilitation and is expected to remain in hospital for some time.
Matt's father Keith Golinski said his son was displaying great determination and courage despite the emotional toll the fire caused him.
"Even though it is painful and exhausting, Matt is really throwing everything into his physical recovery at present," Keith said.
"He is working very hard in his therapy to regain his body's strength and to be a bit more independent."
Matt is undergoing physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, pain management and counselling.
Keith said Matt was still processing the emotions of losing his wife and three children.
"It's still hard to believe that Rachael and the girls are not with us and I think that as Matt gets physically stronger that his body will start to cope better with the emotional side of things.
"I think it's still all a bit surreal at present and Matt has been completely overwhelmed with the level of support that has been directed toward him since the accident such as the cards, letters, events and fundraising initiatives like Plates for Mates.
"Knowing that everyone is truly there for him and wishing him back to wellness has made a significant, positive impact on his progress.
"We can all see how determined he is to get well enough to leave hospital and begin the next chapter of his life," Keith said.
"On behalf of Matt, his family and friends we are all so grateful to the hospital team for providing such excellent treatment and care for him. We cannot thank them enough. They are truly the unsung heroes in our society."
When Matt is released from hospital, he will probably return to live with Keith on the Sunshine Coast. For more information on Plates for Mates or to donate visit platesformates.com.au.