THE family of Belfast man Michael Hyndman, who was left in an induced coma after he suffered a "devastating blow" to the head in Sydney on New Year's Eve have told of his "remarkable" recovery.
"Michael remains in hospital in Sydney, where his rehabilitation is progressing well," his brother Barry said this week. "He is fully conscious and fully mobile."
Surgery to repair his skull has however had to be delayed due to an infection.
"The team of doctors caring for Michael, informed him that the piece of his skull that was in storage and due to be reinserted had unfortunately become infected," Barry Hyndman said. "Michael was indeed very lucky that this was picked up on before the scheduled operation, or the outcome could have been so much worse. We are very thankful for that.
While awaiting surgery and after passing rehabilitation tests, Michael has been allowed to leave hospital on a 48 hour release. Barry Hyndman paid tribute to the team of medics who have cared for his brother since the start of the year.
"They have made it their priority to ensure Michael remains with us today and that he continues to make adequate progress. We daren’t think where Michael would be without their dedication, commitment and expertise and will never be able to repay them for all they have done for him," he said on a GoFundMe page set up to help defray medical costs.
Mr Hyndman, who is a quantity surveyor, moved to Australia in September with his fiancée Clar.
However on New Year’s Eve his family at home were told he was in hospital after sustaining a head injury in an altercation in Sydney.
Fearing for his life, relatives flew out to be by his bedside.
The 23-year-old, who had been due to start training with Craobh Phadraigh GAA club, was placed in an induced coma.
He later underwent surgery to remove part of his skull to reduce pressure on his brain.
Mr Hyndman was later moved out of intensive care and on to a ward specialising in neurological rehabilitation.