Matt Golinski.
Matt Golinski. Barry John Alsop Eyes Wide Open

Matt tells of waking from coma: Why would I want to live?

SUNSHINE Coast celebrity chef and burns victim Matt Golinski has spoken publicly about his first moments after coming out of an induced coma.

Mr Golinski looked relaxed and happy as he addressed a breakfast group at the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation's launch of Philanthropy Week at Noosa Springs Country Club yesterday.

The Tewantin chef survived the Boxing Day, 2011, fire in which wife Rachael and young daughters Starlia, 10, and 12-year-old twins Sage and Willow died.

The media have since recorded his long, painful and heroic recovery.

Stories covered his hospital treatment, his homecoming, the marathons he's run, the waves he's surfed and his countless public speaking engagements.

But despite all this sharing, no one at the breakfast to hear him speak on The Healing Power of Giving was quite prepared for his frank recollections.

"On February 26, 2012, I woke up in hospital. My lung, kidneys and liver were damaged," he said.

"Forty per cent of my body was burned. I had lost 22kg.

"I couldn't see, I couldn't talk and I couldn't walk."

His father, who had barely left his side since the tragedy, was there to hear his first request.

"I asked Dad for a mobile phone so I could speak to my wife Rachael," Mr Golinski said.

"Dad didn't hesitate. He told me straight away."

At that point, he said he had failed to understand why he was still alive.

"Why on earth would you think I would want to live now?" he said of his thoughts at the time.

But after his father rigged up an alphabet chart for him to point to, the communication revealed his father's own state of mind.

"Then I realised he was suffering more than myself," Mr Golinski said.

From those early conversations with his father, when Mr Golinski heard of the enormous public outpouring of love and support, he rediscovered his will to live.

Mr Golinski said that being the recipient of so much compassion had compelled him towards giving.

"It magnifies your own compassion," he said.

He said despite the tragedy, he still felt fortunate.

"I feel lucky for all the love and support you have given me, the community has given me, my country has given me."