A DJ was left scarred for life and unable to do the job he loves after a single punch on a night out knocked him into a coma.
Former Radio Northumberland DJ Wayne Urwin, from Cramlington, suffered bleeding on the brain and underwent emergency surgery to remove part of his skull after the attack by Aaron Robson in Morpeth.
The 36-year-old’s family were told to expect the worst as it was unlikely the father-of-two would survive.
Wayne made an incredible recovery after more than a month in hospital - but he has still been left with permanent problems.
The once-active warehouse manager can no longer listen to music, work or ride his bike, has lost his home and driving licence, and rarely gets to see his children Marley, seven, and Georgia, four.
His memory has been badly affected, he suffers seizures and fits and he’s still awaiting further surgery to have a metal plate put into his head to cover where his skull was removed.
Wayne, now living with his mum in Sunniside, Gateshead, said: “I don’t remember anything about the actual night. I remember getting off the train and meeting my friends in a bar but that’s it. I don’t remember anything after that.
“I know there is CCTV of me arguing with Aaron outside the pub but then we disappear from view and he apparently punched me and I fell to the ground. He ran off and it was passers-by that helped me.
“The first thing I remember is coming round from the coma. I remember opening my eyes and seeing my mate. I was really distressed and confused, I didn’t know what was going on.
“For some reason, I thought I’d been hit by a car. I was like that for a fortnight, really confused and not understanding what was going on.
“My memory was really bad. I couldn’t remember anything after about 30 seconds, which made me really distressed.”
Wayne had worked full time and spent any spare time volunteering at Radio Northumberland or taking on cycling challenges for homeless charities.
“It couldn’t be more different,” he said. “I’m on statutory sick pay, so I’ve lost my flat as I couldn’t afford it. I can’t work, so I’m trying to get benefits for the first time in my life. I’ve worked since I was 15. I’ve lost my driving licence as I’ve suffered seizures and fits as a result of the injuries and I can’t cycle or listen to my music anymore, which I really loved.
“But the hardest thing is by far my children. Seeing my daughter’s face when she came to visit me in hospital, you could tell she was really frightened when she saw me with all the staples and scar.
“I can’t drive to see them and I only get to see them now when my dad brings them round. That is really difficult.”
Wayne now sees a psychiatrist and attends support groups for people with head injuries.
“I know the doctors have said I’ve had a miracle recovery and I try to stay positive and focus on getting better. They say it will take about two years.”
Robson, 20, of Silverdale Road, Cramlington, attacked Wayne outside the Shambles pub in Morpeth on March 30.
He pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm without intent at Newcastle Crown Court. The case was adjourned for sentence.
Wayne said: “Weirdly, I never held any anger towards Aaron. He’s got his own issues and I need to stay positive and concentrate on my health and recovery. I do want to see justice done.”