Left to rot
Family fight for man injured in attack
The family of a dad who was left in a vegetative state following a vicious assault at a party in Rutherglen have spoke of the devastating consequences of the attack.
Kate Neil, the mother of 38-year-old victim David Black, has been forced to turn her living room into a makeshift hospital ward in a bid to provide her son with at-home rehabilitation and care whilst awaiting the offer of an appropriate adapted property.
David was 35 and living a happy family life when he was attacked by 29-year-old Raymond Bell and left for dead at a house party in Lochaber Drive back in November 2014.
His injuries, including a bleed on the brain, were so severe they changed his life forever and the dad-of-two now communicates with his family by blinking.
Both his mum Kate and partner Helen Gillies, feel they are in a constant fight to get David the level of rehabilitation, and essential safety physio equipment needed, for the former landscape gardener to “have some quality of life”.
The family are also in desperate need of basic equipment to treat David’s respiratory issues, as he has difficulty breathing, which leads to panic attacks.
Lecturer Kate, from Blantyre, said: “My son has no quality of life. He needs roundthe-clock care and rehabilitation.
“At the moment, whilst a care budget has been provided, he is not getting the appropriate rehab needed or medication required and we feel he has literally been left in a hospital bed to rot.
“That is my son, my boy, and any mother would want the best for their child, so now we are fighting to get an adapted home or indeed proper equipment in this home.
“For example a wet room is essential as at present we are forced to take David to the Lifestyles Centre in Fairhill for a shower every day, how is that allowed to occur?
“We also need exercise equipment that would be used every day to improve David’s muscles, and through time we believe it would help him gain strength and some form of movement again.”
Helen, the mother of David’s daughter Donna-Marie, 6, works with him daily in a bid to keep him communicating.
She is also now studying a full time physiotherapy course to be able to help her partner.
She said: “Even after such a horrific assault, David at one point was able to talk somewhat and move his legs up and reach out with his arms — but a lack of proper rehab has seen him deteriorate rapidly.
“I believe that with a proper rehab plan in place, we can get him back to some form of a life again.”
Kate added: “We’ll never give up on him. You can see how he responds when his children Robbie and Donna-Marie are around. He clearly communicates with them using his eyes. We can’t sit back and let him deteriorate more.”
The family have been working both with NHS Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire Council in a bid to get David the help required.
Daniel Lowe, executive director of the council’s housing and technical resources, said: “Housing services is aware of the specific housing needs of Mr Black, and will contact Ms Neil directly to provide advice and assistance on housing options in relation to his situation.”
We can’t sit back and let him deteriorate
Suffering David Black’s family want him to have a better quality of life