MYSTERY surrounds an incident which left an epileptic man fighting for his life with a blood clot on his brain following a night out with friends.
Mark Stirman was found by his brother caked in blood at their home on Elliott Road, Peterlee, County Durham.
The 27-year-old had been at a party on Friday night at a nearby home on Harvey Close but left just before midnight.
It is thought he was on his way to another house party and he was spotted near the garage block in Galloway Road.
However, his next known location was back at his home a short time later where he was found by his brother Gary.
His family took him to hospital where doctors found he had a blood clot on his brain and he underwent life-saving surgery.
Now detectives are appealing for witnesses to discover if he was attacked or if there is a more innocent explanation.
Det Sgt Cliff Down said: “At this stage we don’t know if he has been the victim of an assault or whether he has simply hurt himself falling over.
“Mark is a familiar and well-liked person and many people in the area know him.
“We are hoping someone will have seen him at some point between when he left the party and his arrival home, so we can solve what at the moment remains a puzzle.”
After being discovered, Mr Stirman was taken to hospital in Hartlepool where he was checked over and no serious concern was raised for his welfare.
But Mark, who has suffered from epilepsy since he was six, began to have fits and he was quickly transferred to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Doctors confirmed he had a blood clot on his brain and he underwent an operation over the weekend.
Last night he was still in hospital where his condition was being described as “critical but stable”. But detectives are planning to speak to Mark later this week if he is well enough. Last night they appealed for anyone who might have seen him on Friday night to contact them.
Det Sgt Down added when Mark had returned home on the Friday night he had mentioned to his brother he thought two people had come to his aid after he was injured, possibly in the Galloway Road area.
Mr Stirman is around 5ft 6ins tall, of average build and with blond hair cut in a short back and sides. Anyone with information should call 0345 606-0365 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.