When he’s not smashing a hill on his road bike in Victoria’s the Dandenongs, up north or in the Yarra Valley, he’s a dad to two boys Seth and Nathan and when he's working, he's working hard, performing a hysterectomy on a budgie and other complex surgeries on birds of any feather, which you need to be very highly skilled to do. Matt Gosbell, co-owner of Melbourne Bird Vet, is just a handful of people in Australia that can do that.
My mate is the birdman, not that I've ever called him that. And this is one of the most important stories I've ever written in my 20 plus year career. Now, my mission is for this article to go viral because one of Matthew's sons Nathan needs some help and that help only comes on four legs with a wagging tail.
Nathan was born three months premature, he has Down Syndrome and autism, at 14 still has trouble communicating and relies on gestures, sign language. He has oral phobia (which means he can’t eat solid food) and Matt and his family and friends have previously raised approximately $60,000 to bring specialists from overseas to help him learn to eat. He still struggles with eating but can eat mashed food.
‘’Nathan is now 14 years old. He now attends a special development school full time, after doing really well at a combination of the special school and the local school,’’ Mr Gosbell said.
‘’He still needs help eating soft foods and is still tube fed water. We are continuing to work on toilet training and communication. He is an amazing kid, very friendly but struggles to have friends and play with other kids.’’
Mr Gosbell said Nathan struggles at times with behaviour and it has become obvious he would definitely benefit from a companion dog. Companion dogs are trained to help children with special needs and dogs are introduced to children to see which would be most suited to helping that child.
‘’A dog will stabilise his moods and help keep him calm, it would also be a great friend and companion and may attract others to want to come and talk with him,’’ Mr Gosbell said.
‘’I have done a lot of research on what is going to work best for him and have contacted Dogs For Kids. These guys are awesome and they have interviewed us and Nathan and will breed and train a companion dog specifically for him.’’
To support Nathan go to dogsforkids.org.au and when donating please put “Gosbell” in the ‘reason to donate’ section.