Sickening single punch attack left man with half his skull missing

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A horrific single-punch attack saw a man lose half his skull which will likely leave him needing specialist care for the rest of his days.

Jamie Kelly, 41, was left with a bleed on the brain and had to be placed in an induced coma after the sickening assault in North Yorkshire last year.

While performing emergency operation to save his life, surgeons removed half of his skull due to the swelling on his brain. It's left him with almost half of his head missing and suffering severe tremors due to the brain damage.

And while Jamie is now showing slow signs of improvement, the severity of the injury means he is will never make a full recovery.

Thug David Johnson was jailed for two years for the vicious attack on County Durham man Jamie.

Johnson punched Jamie in the head while they were near a pedestrian crossing in Scarborough on September 16 last year. The 32-year-old from the seaside town pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm and was jailed for two years and five months.

During the case, emotional victim impact statement from Jamie's parents Brenda and Michael were read out. They spoke of their devastation over their son's lasting injuries.

Brenda, who lives in Spennymoor, said: "This sort of thing is what you hear about happening to other people, which is heartbreaking in itself, but never in a million years do you think it would happen to your family, especially your child.

"When I look at my son what I should see, what I want to see, is a strong, fit, happy independent 41-year-old man.

“But all I do see, due to a violent punch that Daniel Johnson inflicted on him, is a shell of a man.

"A man who has to drink from a non-spill sippy cup, who needs help eating because of tremors wrack his entire body. He can't go to the toilet or shower himself."

“My son needs to learn to walk again because Daniel Johnson decided he would punch him, obviously intending to hurt him," Brenda continued.

“This is all because one so-called man thought that violence was okay.

“One punch – that's all it took to destroy my boy’s life as he knew it.”

Following the attack, Covid initially prevented Brenda from being able to visit her son, made even worse by the "constant fear" that he could die at any moment.

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After eight weeks he was sent York General Hospital High Dependency Unit where Brenda was finally able to visit him.

“Seeing Jamie for the first time was a massive shock to the system. My eyes were immediately drawn to his head," said his mum.

“I expected his head to be bandaged but it took my breath away to see that it looked like he only had half of his head.

“Looking at my boy so helpless was extremely emotional, the tears running down my face wouldn't stop."

Then Jamie shocked everyone – within weeks he started to open his eyes and understood requests. But they noticed he had a severe tremor which meant he couldn't do things such as feed himself.

"One of his eyes turned outwards on a severe angle, which meant he needed special glasses to help him see. This in addition to him not being able to stand or walk," said Brenda.

Jamie was eventually transferred to Woodlands Rehabiltation Centre where it is hoped he may recover enough functions to live an independent life.

Jamie’s dad, Michael Kelly also spoke of the heartache he feels at seeing his son struggle every day.

“Myself and Jamie’s mam Brenda, sister Michelle and the rest of our family, will be eternally grateful to the doctors and nurses of the National Health Service for saving his life on many occasions," he said.

“It is heart-breaking to see my son struggle so hard to have some quality of life and, indeed, we don’t know what the extent of his recovery will be.

“What we do know is that Jamie will have to live with this for the rest of his life, as will we."

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