Support Matthew Hayes

Matthew Hayes is a 47 year old ex-Burnie man with musical and electronic skills who was a long-term employee of Channel 7 in Sydney, where he was employed as an Audio Engineer.

In 2018, Matthew travelled to Texas in the United States of America on personals business. 

 In October 2018, with the purpose of his visit being complete, Matthew, who was staying at the Marriott Hotel in Houston, Texas packed up his belongings and prepared to fly home.  He told his mother that he would call her (in Tasmania) before heading for home.

His mother, Mrs Margaret Gabbedy-Hayes, having not heard from Matthew within the necessary 2-hours before take-off, became concerned that he may miss his flight so attempted to make contact.

Having had no success with Matthew’s mobile phone, Mrs Hayes eventually managed to contact with the Marriott Front Desk, who informed her that Matthew had not yet checked out.  After visiting his room, they reported that he had hit his head, was currently unconscious and the hotel had him transferred to hospital.

Two days after his fall, while in the Intensive Care section of the hospital, Matthew, had multiple strokes and deteriorated with bleeding on the brain before becoming unconscious. Matthew was still on life support when Mrs Hayes arrived in Houston.  He spent a month in Intensive Care, with a further 2 months in Rehabilitation while in the US.

A “Go Fund Me” campaign was held which helped raise around $30,000 to fly Matthew home.  That increased cost being due to the fact that Matthew had to fly First Class in order to be able to lie down.  Mrs Hayes did not fly First Class but was permitted to move into that cabin to be with her son during the flight.

 Matthew then spent an additional six months in the Burnie Rehabilitation Centre before being permitted to move in with Mrs Hayes in her modest home in Upper Burnie in July 2019.  Fortunately, his intelligence, memory and sense of humour have remained reasonably intact, although sight and speech are badly affected.

Matthew had been making excellent progress but has now developed severe tremors.  He is currently confined to a wheelchair and cannot stand unaided, cannot feed himself nor is he able to manoeuvre himself in that wheelchair.  I estimate that Matthew would still weigh about 90kg, but his major carer, his mother, would struggle to weigh 50kg.

The Burnie Masonic Lodge of the Grand Lodge of Tasmania (Freemasons) has chosen to support Matthew and his mum by raising the funds need for an operation that is hoped will address the tremors.


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Organizer and beneficiary

Stew Freeman 
Camena, TAS
Margaret Hayes 
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