Brit lad loses half his skull after alleged assault in New Zealand bar

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A Derby man who was left with life-threatening injuries after an alleged assault will need to have part of his skull replaced, according to his doctors.

Josh Storer, who was rushed to hospital in Auckland, New Zealand after the incident on July 9, has been released from a rehabilitation centre into the care of his family – just one day before he celebrated his 26th birthday.

His family travelled from Spondon to be with him as soon as Covid restrictions in New Zealand allowed and they have been staying there since late July, Derbyshire Live reports.

His sister Sian – who was allowed to see him for the first time on September 22 – told the publication that the long-term impact of his injuries is still unknown.

She said: "When 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.

"Josh 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.

"He's 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.

"He's had a temperature and also low blood pressure – his heart beats faster than it should.

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"We've been told that when we get to level 2 in the pandemic, Josh will be able to have his operation. But 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."

The procedure Josh underwent to remove a bond flap is called a craniectomy and if not replaced with the original bone either a metal plate or a synthetic material will be inserted.

Josh, who had been working on a visa as a plumber in New Zealand for more than three years, was kept in an induced coma for three weeks following extensive brain surgery after the incident at The Albany bar. His medical expenses are expected to be covered by insurance.

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The New Zealand authorities granted a border exemption, which allowed his parents Ian and Dawn Storer and Sian to enter the country to see him, although they had to quarantine him for two weeks beforehand.

His mum and dad finally reached his bedside in time to see him smile after waking from a coma in intensive care in August.

It had been three years since they last saw their son in person because the coronavirus pandemic prevented them from meeting up as planned earlier last year.

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Friends have rallied around the family to raise money to enable them to stay in the country.

A total of £14,620 has been raised on a GoFundMe page "Help the Storer family get to Josh" 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.

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