At the Ray White Golinski Fundraiser were Trinity Williams (left) and Lauren Ripper from Cool Faces.
At the Ray White Golinski Fundraiser were Trinity Williams (left) and Lauren Ripper from Cool Faces. Geoff Potter

Matt aware of family tragedy

TRAGIC fire victim Matt Golinski is conscious and communicating with his father Keith.

And Keith believes the Tewantin television chef is aware of the fact that his wife Rachael and three daughters, Starlia, Willow and Sage, have perished in the Boxing Day house fire.

"Thankfully, we did not have to go into any major detail about what had happened and were simply able to confirm his understanding of the outcome of the fire," Keith said.

"Obviously, Matt is still processing his grief as well as slowly piecing together the events of the past two and a bit months."

Keith said that his son's extensive burns and skin grafts were healing well in Royal Brisbane Hospital, however Matt's body understandably was weak as a result of being bed-bound for more than two months.

"Matt is expected to remain in hospital for some time, but, thankfully, he is gaining physical strength every day.

"He is able to walk small distances from his hospital bed and has commenced physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, pain management and counselling," he said.

A tracheotomy tube, which has been kept in place as a precautionary measure in preparation for more surgery in the next week, is expected to be removed shortly afterwards.

"Although in some ways it feels like only yesterday, the reality is that we have lived with the shock of losing four, much cherished members of our family along with the extent of Matt's injuries for some time now," Keith said.

"Along with the love of family and friends, it is the hospital's professional, compassionate and dedicated care that has got Matt to this point", Keith said.

Matt's culinary-gifted mates are not about to forget him and are rallying a national kitchen campaign to aid his recovery and burns research.

Plates for Mates spokesperson and Brisbane's Bretts Wharf executive chef, Alastair McLeod, said fellow chefs like George Calombaris, Manu Feildel, Damian Heads, Gary Mehigan and Janelle Bloom are behind this compassionate concept.

Funds raised from Plates for Mates will be in aid of the Matt Golinski Recovery Fund Trust, a financial trust fund set up to assist Matt's emotional and physical recovery.

Part of the money raised also will be donated to The McComb Research Foundation, a charitable organisation set up by plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Fiona Wood with scientist Marie Stoner to aid continuing burns research.

"After initially feeling powerless about how to help our friend as a result of this tragedy we had the idea to combine our love of cooking with our love for Matt and his family - and so Plates for Mates was born.

"George, Manu, Damian, Gary, Janelle and I call on our fellow restaurateurs and eateries to join us in devising fund-raising activities to be held during the month of April," Alastair said.

Any food-related business can register to become involved in Plates for Mates via the official website www.platesformates.com.au.


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