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Canvey man is now conscious but in a persistent vegetative state
11:10am Monday 18th June 2012 in Castle Point
THE family of a Canvey man who was left in a coma after being brutally attacked in Thailand has been told he may never lead a normal life again.
Paul Ayling, 47, was hit over the head with a lump of wood by one of two men who jumped him in Hua Hin, Thailand, on November 21 last year.
The attack left Mr Ayling, who lived on Canvey for more than 30 years, with severe brain damage and sent him into a five- month coma.
Although now conscious, doctors have declared Mr Ayling as being in a persistent vegetative state, after three months of neurological tests. This means although he is awake, Mr Ayling is unaware of anything going on around him.
Specialists at Harrow’s Northwick Park Hospital also believe he could be both blind and deaf.
The heartbreaking news has devastated family members who had hoped Paul could one day return to a normal life.
His brother Tony, 51, who lives in Yorkshire, said: “It is not what we were hoping for at all.
“Our hopes of him coming out of the coma and leading as normal a life as possible have lessened.
“We just don’t know how much of the Paul we know is still in there.”
If his situation stays the same for more than 12 months, Mr Ayling would then be classified as being in a permanent vegetative state, meaning it is impossible by any informed medical expectations that his mental condition would ever improve.
Tony said: “Basically his body is just doing enough to keep itself alive.
“His eyes are open, but it doesn’t appear that he is aware of anything. I don’t really know what is worse, him being in a coma, or in this vegetative state.
“We are just hoping he comes out of this soon.
“You do hear of medical cases where people recover.”
Mr Ayling only emigrated to Thailand with his wife Justine and nine-year-old son Scott last year.
He endured three operations in Thailand, which reduced swelling on his brain and removed blood clots. Mr Ayling was then flown back to Britain and treated in Southend Hospital, in March, before he was transferred to Northwick Park, in April.
Tony added: “We are now hoping to get him moved to a care home in Essex, so that he can be closer to his wife and son and well looked after.”
Family members have become increasingly frustrated with Thailand’s police investigation into the attack on Mr Ayling and are battling to secure justice for him.
His attacker has never been found. Anyone who might be able to help is asked to e-mail email@example.com
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