A plumber from the UK working in New Zealand almost lost his life after having part of his skull removed following a vicious assault in a bar.
Josh Storer, 26, originally from Derbyshire, England, was taken to an Auckland hospital after the horrific incident on July 9, where medics were left with no other option but to take out a large part of his skull to reduce the pressure on his brain,Â accordingÂ to DerbyshireLive.
Josh started a new life in New Zealand three years ago and has been working as a plumber for a drainage company.
Experts have said that Joshâs survival is a âmiracle,â after he was kept in a medically induced coma for nearly a month.
The 56-year-old assailant has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
After a long wait caused by the coronavirus lockdowns in the country, Joshâs family finally made it to New Zealand to be with him.
His sister Sian â who was granted a visit for the first time on September 22 â said his fate is still unclear.
Josh was released from rehab back into the arms of his loved ones just in time to celebrate his birthday but is facing a long road of recovery.
âWhen we dropped down to level 3 lockdown in Auckland recently, one designated visitor was allowed to go and see Josh each day for an hour and he and I were finally reunited.
âJosh was so happy when I visited and his mood has lifted since the visits started. I was over the moon to see him and was quite emotional.
âHeâs progressed really well in the rehabilitation centre, although he has had a few falls due to the blood not going to his brain fast enough when he stands up. Heâs had a temperature and also low blood pressure â his heart beats faster than it should.
âWeâve been told that when we get to level 2 in the pandemic, Josh will be able to have his operation.
âBut he has been told that his skull, that was removed originally to relieve pressure on his brain after the incident, is no longer suitable and that a replacement skull will be made for him.â
Joshâs family were extremely excited to have him back on time for his birthday.
Sian went on to say:
âBeing with us will go a long way to aid in his recovery and mental wellbeing. He will be an outpatient and still receive after care.
âI wouldnât say itâs the exact same Josh as before the accident, but I would say mostly.
âHeâs forgetful, heâs going to have some trouble with problem solving and things like that, and emotions can be up and down hour to hour.
âIn terms of the damage, thatâs irreversible. Thereâs quite a lot of scarring on the frontal lobe.
âThe doctors are shocked that he got this far to be honest. They told us to prepare for the worst, so to be honest I think heâs a bit of a miracle.â
Joshâs operation, which involves taking out a bond flap, is called a craniectomy and if it is not replaced with the original bone a metal plate, or a plate of another material will be used instead.
Although the medical expenses are covered by his insurance, Joshâs family have set up a fundraiser to cover their living costs in New Zealand for the next few months, as well as potential quarantine expenses.
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