Belfast man back home in Ireland four months after suffering 'devastating blow' to the head in Australian attack
A BELFAST man who was left fighting for his life after he suffered a "devastating blow" to the head in Australia has arrived back home and says he now plans to "move forward in life".
Michael Hyndman had to be placed in an induced coma after he was assaulted in a one-punch-attack at New Year, leaving his "life hanging in the balance".
The 23-year-old had moved to Australia with his girlfriend to start a new life and had been due to to start training with Craobh Phadraigh GAA club in Sydney when the attack happened.
On New Year’s Eve his family in Belfast was told he was in hospital after sustaining a head injury in an altercation.
It is understood that one person was arrested and has been charged in connection with the attack.
Fearing for his life, relatives flew out to be by his bedside.
Placed in an induced coma, Mr Hyndman had to undergo surgery to remove part of his skull to reduce pressure on his brain.
In the wake of the attack his family set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to fund his treatment. To date, the campaign has raised almost £19,000.
Four months on, and following two operations and a "whole lot of determination", the quantity surveyor has arrived back in Northern Ireland where he will continue his recovery which he has described as "phenomenal".
"And if I’m totally honest, I don’t think this would have been the case if it wasn’t for my friends, my family, colleagues and the many selfless people who don’t even really know me, yet donated to my cause," he said.
"I feel nothing but the utmost respect and heartfelt gratitude toward you. Your generosity made it possible for me to have my family at my bedside when I needed it most.
"You supported us financially while I was initially fighting just to stay alive, throughout my life changing surgeries and even through many weeks of tough rehabilitation".
Mr Hyndman said he wanted "to thank everyone who has supported me and my family at this changing point in our lives".
And he urged people to be aware of the consequences that might result from "a one-punch".
"To make sure that people fully understand the consequences of throwing just one punch.
"It was just one punch that not only put an abrupt end to our new year celebrations but has completely overshadowed, what was to be ‘our new and exciting chapter’ in our life.
"Thankfully I am here to tell the tale and I hope that by sharing my story people will realise the dangers involved. Life is too precious".