February 12, 2019

Sharing a beautiful story about a wheelchair bound young man who found friends in a virtual world where he could roam free (Gallery)


Sharing a beautiful story about a wheelchair bound young man who found friends in a virtual world where he could roam free
https://www.bbc.com/news/disability-47064773
Sharing a beautiful story about a wheelchair bound young man who found friends in a virtual world where he could roam free
The doctors told Robert and Trude that Mats had Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare disorder that causes muscle degeneration - mostly in boys. Mats's genes contained a coding error that would prevent his muscles from developing normally. And which would finally destroy them.
Sharing a beautiful story about a wheelchair bound young man who found friends in a virtual world where he could roam free
"In the course of the last 10 years of his life, Mats played between 15,000 and 20,000 hours," Robert said in his eulogy. "That's equivalent to more than 10 years' full-time employment."

But the gaming also caused family friction.

"When the night nurse arrived at 22:00, Mats had to be in bed," says Robert. "Their job was to monitor Mats in bed, not to put him to bed. Mats protested but reluctantly agreed."
Sharing a beautiful story about a wheelchair bound young man who found friends in a virtual world where he could roam free
"In this other world a girl wouldn't see a wheelchair or anything different. They would get my soul, heart and mind, conveniently placed in a handsome, strong body. Luckily, pretty much every character in this virtual world looks great." (Mats)
Sharing a beautiful story about a wheelchair bound young man who found friends in a virtual world where he could roam free
Many years before, Lisette had made Mats a drawing. Ibelin (Mats) is holding Rumour, a scarf conceals his nose and mouth.
Sharing a beautiful story about a wheelchair bound young man who found friends in a virtual world where he could roam free
The day after Mats died the whole family was at home.

"The doorbell was ringing, flowers arrived, neighbours visited. We cried," Robert recalls.

Robert tried to think who he had to tell about Mats's death. He remembered the gamers and wondered how in the world he could reach them.

"Before Mats died, I never thought that I would have to have his password."

But now he needed it.

"That was when I thought of his blog," says Robert.
Sharing a beautiful story about a wheelchair bound young man who found friends in a virtual world where he could roam free
When Mats's group, Starlight, learned of his death, the members pooled money so that those who could not afford it had the opportunity to travel to Norway for the funeral.

Robert says the family was very touched.

"We cried and cried from an intense emotional joy that came from seeing what kind of a life Mats had in fact lived. With real friends, sweethearts, people who cared so much that they would fly from another country to the funeral service of someone they had never met. That was powerful."

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