Left to rot

Fam­ily fight for man in­jured in at­tack

Rutherglen Reformer - - Devastated - Leona Greenan

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

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Suf­fer­ing David Black’s fam­ily want him to have a bet­ter qual­ity of life

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