A MAN left fighting for life after a vicious street attack has opened his eyes after 11 days in a coma.
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.
His family were told earlier this week that he had sustained “considerable” brain damage in the attack, and could be left with a long-term disability.
But his parents Shirley and Alan from the Jesmond Gardens area were boosted by seeing their son open his eyes in the intensive care unit at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Shirley, 53, said: “I’m over the moon that he is out of the coma.
“He’s not out of the woods yet and he does have a long way to go, but it is a big thing to see him open his eyes again.
“He was taken off the sedation last Wednesday, and he started to respond a bit at around 5pm on Tuesday. By Wednesday, he had opened his eyes.
“We’re constantly speaking to the neurologists, but this is a positive sign.
“He cannot actually talk to us as he has a tube in his throat, and he can’t move his right arm or leg. He’s obviously confused about what’s going on, but at one stage we thought we were going to lose him so we’re hoping he will gradually start to show more positive signs.”
Paul, who works in McDonald’s in Hartlepool’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, was initially taken to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, before being transferred to James Cook when the severity of his injuries became clear.
He had been enjoying a night out with his 29-year-old brother Gary, but became separated and was attacked as he made his way home.
A 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault in connection with the incident and bailed pending further investigation.