THE family of a man left in a coma after a brutal street attack have been told their son has sustained “considerable” brain damage.
Young dad Paul Ingram, 31, was attacked as he made his way home from a night out in Hartlepool in the early hours of Sunday, May 1.
Paul had been out with his brother, Gary, 29, on Saturday night, but became separated from him and was believed to be making his way home when he was set upon near the junction of York Road and Victoria Road.
Paul, dad to a five-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, has been in intensive care with bleeding and bruising to the brain and is yet to come around despite constant attention from medics.
Paul’s mum Shirley, 53, and dad Alan, 57, have been told by neurologists that their son has sustained considerable brain damage and while there is still hope he will recover, they have been warned he is likely to require constant care.
Shirley, a part-time cleaner, said: “There is no change in as much as he is still unconscious.
“But the neurologist had to be blunt with us, and tell us what we can expect. There is obviously a chance he may not pull through, we have been told that.
“But if he does come out of this alive, then he will need constant attention because he has sustained considerable brain damage.
“He could be left with a long-term disability.
“He has been off the sedation since Wednesday, but we are still waiting for him to wake up.”
Paul, who works in McDonald’s in Hartlepool’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, was initally taken to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, before being transferred to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough when the severity of his injuries became clear.
Shirley, who has been making several trips a day between the family home in the Jesmond Gardens area through to the hospital in Middlesbrough, thanked Paul’s friends for their support over the last week.
She added: “We have been crying and upset about the whole situation, and the support we are getting is much appreciated.
“On Saturday morning we got a bouquet of flowers from McDonald’s where Paul works, and there was a nice card that came through from a stage school that he goes to signed by all of his friends.
“It is a big help for us as a family to know how highly people think of Paul.”
A 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault in connection with the incident and bailed pending further investigation.
Detective Sergeant Jim Allen, from Hartlepool CID, said: “I am appealing for anyone who may have seen anything in relation to this incident or anyone who has any information to get in touch.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Det Sgt Allen on (01642) 302178 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.