A man severely injured during a violent attack at a West Auckland bar has beaten huge odds and is off life support, awake and responding to his family and doctors.
The 28-year-old was badly beaten on November 4 while enjoying an after-work beer with a colleague.
The two roofers had been taken to the bar – which cannot be named – by their boss after finishing work in the area.
His friend had a verbal altercation with bar staff and then was allegedly attacked by a group of men.
The victim tried to help his mate and was allegedly struck repeatedly in the head.
He was rushed to hospital where surgeons had to remove half of his skull to relieve pressure on his brain.
His family were told that it was unlikely he would survive, his injuries were too significant and they had done all they could do for him.
Seven men have been charged in relation to the attack and are before the courts.
They cannot be named.
Last week the victim regained consciousness and is now stable.
He is not breathing on his own or communicating verbally yet but is making eye contact and appears to recognise his partner and family and responds to commands from his doctors.
The full extent of the damage to his brain and body will not be clear until he can breathe on his own and further testing can be carried out.
“He is doing well, it’s truly amazing,” said the mother of his partner, who he has been with since high school.
“It’s made us believe in miracles again.
“The doctors came in with really grim news and said they still didn’t know how bad he was and 20 minutes later that all changed … he grabbed [his partner’s] hand and started to look at her and follow her with his eyes.
“I just don’t have the words to describe how that feels … he is amazing. This is better news than we got at the start.”
The man’s family continue to surround him at the hospital and have attended court for the accused attackers.
One of them was released on electronically monitored bail on Friday, which upset the victim’s family.
“We can’t believe it … we are all gutted, what a joke,” said the mother-in-law.
But the family was more focused on the victim and his recovery – which they were anxious to hear more about from doctors.
“He can’t speak but he follows people with his eyes, and that is loads better than what we were told that first day,” his mother-in-law said.
“We are so happy, it’s so overwhelming – as soon as he opened his eyes I could see that it was him looking at you, it wasn’t just his eyes opening and there was nothing there – it was really him.
“The doctors come to do the tests and he does everything they command – closes his eyes, opens them, grips with his left hand, moves his leg.
“It’s just awesome.”
A Givealittle page was set up to support the victim and his partner and wider family as he recovers – a journey that may take months or years.
More than $3000 has been donated.
IF YOU WANT TO HELP BY DONATING – CLICK HERE
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