An electrician has told how he lost a piece of his skull after being attacked by a group of thugs wielding baseball bats as he walked home from a nightclub.
Adam Harcombe, 27, spoke about the ordeal for the first time, as his attackers Callum Meirion Thomas and Nathan Emery were jailed.
Mr Harcombe, then 26, decided to drive his friend Lucy home after the night out at a club in Porth, South Wales, but was hit in the hand by a Volkswagen Golf driven by Thomas, 23 years.
Thomas, who had Emery, 36, in the passenger seat, bypassed a one-way system and then the thugs approached Mr Harcombe and attacked him.
Thomas hit him repeatedly with a baseball bat he had in the trunk of his car. They then fled from the scene, reports Wales Online.
Submitted by Adam Harcombe)
It left Mr Harcombe fighting for his life at the University Hospital of Wales in Heath, Cardiff, where he was operated on for up to four hours.
He ended up with a blood clot on his brain and a bone had to be removed from the side of his head because his brain was swelling.
He lost sight in his left eye and was hospitalized for 16 weeks, losing 14 kg of weight.
After initially waking up from a coma, Mr Harcombe, who once could have walked 10 miles, found himself unable to walk 10 steps.
He was unable to go to the toilet or shower without help and had to relearn how to brush his teeth.
Photo submitted by Adam Harcombe)
He was stripped of his confidence and left “filled with anger and anxiety” ashamed to go out in public because of the scar left on his head.
“I only remember talking to Lucy outside the club, but nothing more than that,” he said.
“They changed my life forever. What I would say is just think before you do something stupid. I’m lucky to be alive. If the paramedics weren’t arrived in time and without the Heath surgeons, I could have lost my life.
“It was scary, and what I went through will always stay with me. It completely changed my life. Learning to accept the injuries I suffered was the hardest part for me, to be honest.
“Looking back on it now, it made me so strong, I’m almost grateful for that. It brought out a side to my character that I didn’t know I had.”
Thomas, of Porth, was found guilty after a jury trial of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm and having an offensive weapon.
Emery, of Tonypandy, South Wales, was found guilty by a jury after his trial of causing grievous bodily harm. Thomas was jailed for 13 years and Emery was sentenced to three years at Merthyr Crown Court.
Photo submitted by Adam Harcombe)
Mr Harcombe, who can no longer work as an electrician, said: “When I had to face them and read my personal victim statement, it was huge for me.
“I was a little nervous, but once I saw them and read the statement, everything was fine. It was difficult, because I was still blind in one eye, but I pushed a sigh of relief and I was very proud the boys faces to realize that they hadn’t beaten me, and that I was still here alive and the kicks hadn’t no price.
“I had seen what they looked like before. When they called Mr Thomas my heart raced, but once he came out and I saw him I thought it was the guy who beat me, and I just thought, there’s nothing I can’t do now after facing you. When they were sentenced, it was a huge sigh of relief. It was as if I was done and could move on.
Mr Harcombe has the date of the attack – September 6, 2020 – tattooed on his arm, as well as the date he woke up from a coma – September 13, 2020.
He now has the date Thomas and Emery were jailed inked on his arm, and 5710 and 3556, the shoulder numbers of the police officers who brought the duo to justice.
Mr Harcombe continued: “The next steps for me were just to keep training in the gym.
“It kept me focused. I didn’t know I had to have another operation on my head. It was swollen, so I went to see the neurosurgeon and she sent me for a CT scan. I I had to have a bone removed in November last year, and I had to wait eight weeks for a titanium plate.
“In November I was supposed to have my eyes done but it was canceled but I got a phone call in January this year to say it would continue in February but it was canceled again until March.
“I was in Heath Hospital and was at my wit’s end, but it continued, and a few hours later I could see again.
“It was a cornea transplant. I had an infection and scarring on my eye that needed to be removed. I remember coming out of surgery and waking up and realizing I could see my father. It was an amazing moment. It was quite emotional to be honest.”
The youngster is currently training to compete in the Cardiff 10k on September 4, just under two years since he was attacked. And there could also be good news on the horizon in terms of returning to work.
“It’s a bit of a milestone,” he said.
“My running has accelerated over the past two months. All I’m doing right now is walking and running. I don’t want to go back into the pool until I see the doctors again because chlorine.
“I’m pretty pals with my boss, and there might be a position opening up for me in the office, which would be great for me at the moment. I need to talk to the DVLA about driving again, that’s the next challenge for myself.
“I was told I could return to playing rugby but decided against it due to the rate of head injuries. I have done my coaching qualifications and am watching rugby on foot .
“I coached the Under 16s for Porth Harlequins this year, it was great to be back with them. I’ve had a lot of satisfaction coaching.
“I tried to train as much as possible, which helped my mental health and my outlook on life a lot. I listen to motivational speeches, because my mental health was pretty bad. I got advice last year and it helped me a lot.
Mr Harcombe shared his story on social media and found that his road to recovery has been a motivation for others around the world who are going through a similar experience.
He added: “I have my Instagram page and I’ve had a lot of people message me about how much I’ve helped them get their walk back and their sanity back, so that’s a huge satisfaction. for me.
“There were days when I thought something like this would never happen again for me, but I had to remind myself not to give up now.”