Rebreather Friends: This might be my longest post ever, but please take a moment to read it and share the message. Many of you know my dear friend Matt Johnston. He is the first ventilator-dependent diver and a man who has greatly enriched my life. Captain Gary Mace is heading up the organization of getting Matt down to Florida to see his exhibit at the Man in the Sea Museum. Every day is rare and precious when you are challenged by Muscular Dystrophy.
So far $2,900 towards a $5,000 goal has been collected. We're so close on this and every little bit helps. Please consider donating anything you can spare to get Matt down to Florida to celebrate his 33rd birthday.
Here's the link once more to go and donate. Matt Johnston Florida Fund:
The Oracle - by Jill Heinerth
It’s a rhythm that is surprisingly soothing, a click-hiss that purrs with flawless regularity. When it is working well, the ventilator injects a perfectly measured dose of air that keeps Matt Johnston alive. When he speaks, he must prepare his thoughts carefully, and ride kernels of wisdom on a single breath.
The raspy depth of his voice is testimony to his resolve to preserve the muscles that control speech. His ravaged body has given in to most other challenges, yet communication is an imperative battle. After his fingers failed him on the keyboard, phone contact was his last prospect for speaking to his network of friends and colleagues. Those people make it worth getting up in the morning. Those people help him pursue his dreams. Those people are equally moved and inspired by his strength and tenacity.
Matt Johnston is a diving pioneer, making history in the realm of technical diving. His dedicated support crew are as intimate as family. His strength and perseverance have inspired luminaries like John Chatterton and Susan Long. Diving manufacturers like DUI and Ocean Reef have created specialized equipment to meet his unique specifications. His accomplishments have been lauded by Anne Curry and Matt Lauer on CBS.
Matt Johnston came into this world as an explorer. His curiosity fueled an early interest in the oceans. Despite growing up in the American Midwest, he was destined to bring attention the fragility of our ocean world and the urgency to make things right. His personal battles have mirrored the struggles of our water planet. As his own lungs and body have slowly failed him, he is a quiet but insistent voice from the wilderness. He is watching the lungs of our planet decay and is using his frail voice to bring attention to its beauty and all that threatens it.
At age seven, Matt was diagnosed with a cruel verdict of Muscular Dystrophy. At age seventeen, after a long campaign to get a proper wheelchair, his horizontal posture lead to the loss of respiratory function. When most would surrender to the disease, he resisted, knowing his mission was not yet accomplished.