A dad who nearly died and had both legs amputated after falling ill on holiday made his first home visit with a moving thank you card to his wife.
On his day outing from Wythenshawe Hospital, Matthew Parkes, 38, and his family also posed for a family snap by the Christmas tree.
For many families, such a day would be standard festive fun - but the Parkes take nothing for granted.
Just weeks ago, doctors told wife Pamela, 39, that Matthew had just days to live after he fell severely ill while on holiday in Majorca. He suffered complications with his circulation and had to have both his legs amputated at Wythenshawe Hospital.
Despite his ordeal, Matthew knows he is lucky to be alive.
And he spent the day at the family home in Bramhall with daughter Sophia, four, and Pamela’s children Luka and Helena.
Matthew's wife Pamela said:
“It’s amazing how far Matthew has come. We sneaked him out for the day and spent he day putting up the tree with the three kids. “He is doing so well and now he does rollie-pollies on the floor to get about and Sophia thinks it’s a game and does it with him.” She added: “He just keeps saying thank you to everyone he meets for helping him and he is just humbled by everything and great full to be alive. “We have both said that regardless of all this that this will be the best Christmas ever and we are all so much closer than we were before as we no longer take anything for granted." >
And there is yet more good news for the family. Matthew is set to be released from hospital for good on 9th December, just in time for Christmas.
“Although he has lost three stone his strength and determination to be independent means that life at home is easier than we expected. “We will be spending Christmas Day with my ex-husband and he will be helping Matt cook the Christmas dinner whilst i put my feet up. “In a way, so much good has come out of this experience.”
Matthew’s ordeal began over four months ago while on a wedding anniversary holiday in Majorca with Pamela and daughter Sophia .
He developed a sore throat. His condition deteriorated rapidly and he suffered multi-organ failure, renal failure, blood disease and was placed in an induced coma on 6th August.
Severe impact on his circulation turned his legs black.
At first, Matthew was trapped in a private Palma hospital because Wythenshawe's ICU was full.
But Pamela battled to get him a place and he was flown back on 9th September. For two months, Matthew remained in a coma battling infection and disease.
But he was finally woken up in September to be reunited with his family.
Doctors have now ruled out an initial diagnosis of Castleman disease - a rare lymph node condition - and believe he had a severe reaction to a Streptococcal infection.