It’s been greeted as good news for his family, here in Rarotonga. The former Blues rugby midfielder, who battled rheumatic fever has as 13-year-old, has been back in intensive care and on life support after the initial surgery on Monday.
The news of early signs of recovery comes as a big relief for his family in Rarotonga, including father Mataio, who plans to visit his son when the borders reopen later this month.
Matt’s fiancé Taylah Hodson-Tomokino confirmed he had come off life support.
“It wasn’t smooth sailing and it was a much longer procedure than anticipated because of how weak the right side of his heart is, but it’s still progress,” Hodson-Tomokino said.
“As the saying goes, we’ve won the battle but we haven’t won the war. His chest is still open because his heart is so weak.
“The surgeons think it’s best to leave it open for a few days to monitor it and it gives them easy access should anything go wrong.
“We’re aware that things can go bad just as quick as they’ve progressed which is why I must reiterate that Matty is still classed as critical and it will be days before they look to close him up and furthermore, wake him up.
“He isn’t breathing on his own and is in a state of paralysis so that his heart has the sole focus of beating and pumping blood around his body.”