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‘Think before you punch, life is too precious’ Irishman who fought back from brink

Extra.ie logo Extra.ie 17/05/2018 Alison Ring

a man standing next to a body of water: Michael Hyndman © Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Michael Hyndman A young Irish man seriously injured in a one-punch attack in Australia on New Year’s Eve has finally been allowed to return home.

Michael Hyndman from Belfast was celebrating the turn of the new year in Sydney with his fiancée Clar when he was dealt a devastating blow to the head which almost cost him his life.

As a result of the altercation, the 23-year-old was placed in an induced coma and was forced to undergo emergency surgery as he fought for his life in hospital.

a group of people posing for the camera © Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland The youngster had moved to Australia last September to start a new chapter in his life.

A fundraising campaign to support the family during his ordeal raised a total €21,547, assisting in the cost of his treatment, and helping to fly him home safely last month.

This week, Michael Hyndman issued an emotional thank you to all those who supported the GoFundMe account acknowledging not only financial help but the positive thoughts, words of encouragement and prayers which eased them through the dark time.

a bridge over a body of water © Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland He wrote, ‘It’s crazy to think just 105 days ago my horrible nightmare began. My future, which I thought I had mapped out before me, was hanging in the balance after just one punch left me fighting for my life.

‘The people I love were left sitting by my bed side (and for many, left sitting back home in Ireland) waiting on me to wake up, hoping and praying that I actually would.’

After three months and two major surgeries, Australian doctors gave Michael the all clear on April 13, allowing his to fly home to Ireland to continue his recovery.

a person posing for the camera: Michael Hyndman Coma © Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Michael Hyndman Coma He continued, ‘Looking back, there is no doubt in my mind that my recovery has been 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.

‘I go through the list of names nearly every day. I feel nothing but the upmost 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.’

a man holding a fish: Michael Hyndman © Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Michael Hyndman Signing off for the final time, he warned, ‘In addition to expressing my sincere gratitude I also want to take this opportunity to raise awareness. To make sure that people fully understand the consequences of throwing just one punch.

‘It was just one punch that started this nightmare 105 days ago and almost cost me my life. 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.’

Michael finished, ‘Thankfully I am here to tell the tale and I hope that by sharing my story people will realise the dangers involved. I hope that I can prevent, even one person, from throwing that, life altering / in some cases fatal, punch in the future. Life is too precious.’

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