Damo re­turns home

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

DAMIEN “Damo” Smith has been re­lo­cated to a neu­ro­log­i­cal ward in Ho­bart, Tas­ma­nia, to con­tinue his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion to help re­cover from a brain in­jury.

When the 40-year-old woke up from a month-long in­duced­coma af­ter sus­tain­ing a frac­tured skull and be­ing found un­con­scious on Grant St on Novem­ber 11, Damien could not move the left side of his body.

One month since he woke up from the coma and with re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, Damo has full mo­bil­ity and use of his limbs and phys­i­cally is in good health.

How­ever, due to the sever­ity of the head-in­jury sus­tained, Damo has lost short term mem­o­ries and has trou­ble re­tain­ing new mem­o­ries and un­der­stand­ing where he is and why.

Si­mon Macfie said his best friend can­not stop talk­ing but his mem­o­ries are jum­bled and they are slowly learn­ing more from him about the night he was found un­con­scious with a frac­tured skull.

“Damien re­mem­bers a lot but he has a scat­tered mem­ory, one minute switches con­ver­sa­tions and jumps all over the place, but each day he re­veals a lit­tle bit more,” he said.

While the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tin­u­ing in Port Dou­glas, Damien is an in-pa­tient at the Royal Ho­bart Hos­pi­tal re­ceiv­ing ex­ten­sive re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and his sur­geon has told po­lice he is not yet in a po­si­tion to com­mu­ni­cate ef­fec­tively.

De­spite the early stages, Damien has told fam­ily and friends he is keen to even­tu­ally re­turn to Port Dou­glas.

“He’s very keen to come back to Port, he’s a good friend of El­lie at Paddy’s and when she came down to see him, he said he’ll be back to have a beer at Paddy’s, go to the Iron Bar and party back on the boat, “Mr Macfie said.

“There are good signs, the un­for­tu­nate thing is when we got to Ho­bart they were say­ing due to lack of re­hab when he first came out it prob­a­bly put him back a few weeks.

“He shouldn’t have had the stim­u­lus he did like so many dif­fer­ent faces and nurses in and out of the sur­gi­cal ward, magazines and tele­vi­sion.

“The brain is try­ing to re­pro­gram it­self and doesn’t need new stim­u­lus mak­ing it very con­fus­ing for him, but the Cairns Base Hos­pi­tal did a fan­tas­tic job with what they had avail­able.”

Damo’s fam­ily is re­lieved to be able to re­turn home with him, go­ing back to their daily jobs and re­ceiv­ing sup­port from other fam­ily mem­bers and their friends.

If you have any in­for­ma­tion on what hap­pened to Damien Smith on the night of Novem­ber 11, call po­lice on 4087 1999 or crime stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

Re­cov­er­ing in Ho­bart: Damien Smith

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