Healing Hugs

My friend Shelly Matautia is a wonderful Mom. I love how her face lights up when she talks about her children. She is one proud Mama and she should be. She’s has two amazing kids and has had the privilege of watching both of them compete as college athletes in volleyball.

Her son Austin is currently a Junior at UCLA and is an outside hitter on their men’s volleyball team. Shelly would love to be at every game but since there is an ocean separating them, it makes it difficult and expensive to be there. Shelly certainly does her best to watch him in person as often as possible.

Shelly and Austin

Shelly and Austin

I have had the privilege of watching Austin play before and it is quite exciting. It is wonderful to see athletes so passionate about their sport. Austin is an incredible athlete and volleyball player!

Austin Matautia

Austin Matautia

A couple weeks ago, Austin was playing in a volleyball match when he got badly injured. Unfortunately, Shelly was not at that game but she was watching online. I can imagine how her heart must have felt to see her son get hurt and realize she was so far away.

Shelly immediatly dialed someone who was at the game and within minutes she was on the phone with one of the coaches and then with Austin. I’m glad she got to talk to him before he was taken to the hospital.

The diagnosis was not good. Austin had dislocated his ankle, tore ligaments in his foot and broke his fibula!

My heart just sank to hear this news about Austin. Especially since I knew he was one of 12 young players selected to play on the USA Mens World University team this summer in Italy.

Austin’s surgery went well and I’m happy to say he is on the road to recovery!

I know when unexpected situations like this happen they can bring discouragement, so I wanted to create a card to lift Austin’s Spirit and to let him know so many were thinking of him and praying for him.

Here is the card I made for Austin.

Friends and Family Volleyball Card

Friends and Family Volleyball Card

I used Balmy Blue and Daffodil Delight Card Stock, to match the UCLA team colors. I used my Basket Weave dynamic textured impressions embossing folder to create a texture that resembled a net. The Family and Friends stamp set allowed me to custom design a volleyball player image. The only problem was, Austin is 6’4! and the image from this set didn’t represent his size!

Martha, one of Austin’s aunties was here when I was making this card and she commented on how the shoes on the image could work as knee pads. What a great suggestion and it worked! I just stamped and fussy cut another set of legs and attached them to the original image. I did the same thing to the arms as well.

Friends and Family Volleyball Card

Friends and Family Volleyball Card

You can see in this close up photo how I extended the arms and legs! I also used a little bit of Sparkle Glimmer Paper to create a cast on the left leg, the leg that I thought Austin had injured. Found out later that it was actually the right leg that he hurt!! Oops!

What do you think? Do you see the resemblance?

Austin Matautia

Austin Matautia

Well, I think Austin is way cuter than the card!

Would you join me in praying for Austin as he continues to recover from this injury. He is a strong and resilliant young man and I pray that his spirit will continue to be lifted by the support he has from so many who love him. Let’s believe together for a complete and full recovery so that he can be back on the court doing what he loves so much very soon!

Get well soon #23! Sending you lots of love and long distance healing hugs!