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Josh Storer, 26, from Derby, will need to have part of his skull replaced after an alleged assault left him with life-threatening injuries. After the incident on July 9, he was rushed to hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, where he had to have extensive brain surgery and was kept in an induced coma for three weeks.
Josh has now been told that his skull, that was originally removed to relieve pressure on his brain after the incident, is no longer suitable and a replacement skull must be made for him.
However, Josh needs to wait for Auckland to drop down to alert level two so he can have his operation.
Josh had been working as a plumber in New Zealand for more than three years and his family was unable to see him due to Covid travel restrictions.
Thankfully, New Zealand authorities granted a border exemption after the incident and allowed his parents Ian and Dawn Storer and sister Sian to enter the country to see him, although they had to quarantine for two weeks beforehand.
His mum and dad finally reached his bedside in time to see him wake from the coma in intensive care in August.
Now he has been released from a rehabilitation centre into the care of his family.
His sister Sian told DerbyshireLive: “He 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.
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“I wouldn’t say it’s the exact same Josh as before the accident, but I would say mostly.
“He’s forgetful, he’s going to have some trouble with problem solving and things like that, and emotions can be up and down hour to hour.
“In terms of the damage, that’s irreversible. There’s quite a lot of scarring on the frontal lobe.
“The 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 he’s a bit of a miracle.”
Sian said Josh’s future prognosis is still uncertain.
Friends have rallied round the family to raise money to enable them to stay in New Zealand.
A total of £14,620 has been raised on a GoFundMe page set up by a friend of the family and more money has been raised by friends in New Zealand towards the cost of flying and staying in the country.
They also organised a charity football match at the Borrowash Victoria AFC ground on September 19, which raised £3,522.
Sian said: “Being 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.
“It’s amazing how many people came together to help a family in crisis and we’re just so grateful to them all.”
Despite the donations, the family says that there are still a lot of expenses to cover such as suitable rental accommodation for the next couple of months. and they have also still to hear if they will have to pay quarantine expenses of £6,150 or if they will be waived.
After the incident at The Albany bar in Auckland, a 56-year-old man has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
He originally appeared at North Shore District Court on July 15 and will next appear on October 27.
Additional reporting by Zena Hawley.
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