Regional | Fire

Burn victim’s road to rehabilitation

12-year old Gisborne lad Matthew Nom has fought against all odds and survived a terrible accident that caused severe burns to 50% of his body. Burns so severe doctors initially didn't think he would survive.

It's been nine months of multiple surgeries and skin grafts but Matthew Nom has survived it all.

Mathew’s mother Hineari Nom says, “It's been long and hard but we've learnt about ourselves through it all, just how strong we are and especially about our boy he's something else.”

In October last year, while at home, Matthew tried to get the backyard cookout going.

“The wood was wet so he and his brother decided to get some accelerant from the shed and they were squirting it on the fire and the container it was in, blew up,” says Hinari.

Mathew shared a brief description of the incident, “I ran up onto the deck and was trying to turn the hose on but I couldn't because it was tight and I ran inside into the bathroom and I turned the tap on and I was trying to get water out of the sink to go on me and Henry turned the shower on and I just hopped in the shower and I was screaming to get Emma to call an ambulance.”

He woke up just over a week later in hospital with his mother by his side, who had to stop work to support his rehabilitation.

Hineari says, “Trying to do new stuff and relearn things over again has been hard in the beginning but he's met all those challenges with absolute strength and determination and my boy is my hero.”

He still has a way to go before he can go home, but she hopes their story will act as a reminder about fire safety.