A man has told of the devastating after-effects he suffers after a former friend attacked him causing brain damage.
Kirk Wearing spent eight weeks in hospital, including three weeks in a coma, after Graham Hull, 34, delivered a ferocious blow to his head.
Kirk, 30, is now back at home in Hartlepool, but has been left with epilepsy, vision and short-term memory problems and has to take 15 tablets a day.
He said: “I am never going to feel myself again. I despise him.”
Hull is currently in prison awaiting sentence after he admitted grievous bodily harm last week. Teesside Crown Court heard how Hull punched Kirk once to the head near the junction of Cornwall Street and Uppingham Street last October.
The court was told they had visited the Premier store in Shrewsbury Street and both had tried to take alcohol.
Kirk says he cannot remember anything about the attack or events leading up to it, but admits he was drinking a lot at the time and has now quit.
He suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain after hitting his head hard on the ground.
Kirk, who lives with partner Claire McAllister, 37, said: “It has blanked my memory. I don’t even remember waking up from the coma.”
He was rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton, but transferred to intensive care at Middlesbrough’s James Cook hospital after suffering a seizure. He was put in an induced coma due to the pressure on his brain. “They tried to wake me up a couple of times and they couldn’t,” he said.
But Kirk was finally allowed home after making good progress with mental tests.
He put his recovery down to the support of partner Claire, who kept a daily vigil in hospital, and the desire to be with his stepchildren Harley, 16, and Kye, 12.
“Claire is the reason I have got to where I am now,” he said. “And the kids, they are my world.”
Kirk does not go out much, feeling constantly wary of people around him, and can no longer learn to drive due to his epilepsy. But he has become closer to his family.
Claire said: “Both our families are proud of him.”
Kirk added: “Now I’m like a completely different person.”
Hull, of Stockton Road, Hartlepool, will be sentenced on Wednesday, April 13.