Miracle recovery of Chippenham man
2:00pm Thursday 20th September 2012 in By Alex Winter
Chippenham barber Isaac Shaw is back at work, just two months after a violent assault that put him in a coma.
Mr Shaw, 28, was involved in an incident in the early hours of July 22 outside Bar E11evn, when he fell to the ground and hit his head.
He was taken to Frenchay Hospital, near Bristol, where he spent a week in a coma with a bleed to the brain.
But now Mr Shaw, who works at Hairport in New Road and High Street Barbers Ltd in Calne, is working part-time after a gruelling seven operations to his head.
He is still waiting to have titanium plates put into his skull after part of the bone was removed.
Mr Shaw said he wants to thank the hospital and his family and friends for their support.
“Frenchay were amazing – they saved my life, and I’m so happy to be alive,” he said.
“I’ve got another operation to come, which will make me feel a bit less vulnerable. I’ve had a remarkable recovery though.”
Staff at Frenchay allowed Mr Shaw’s brother Luke and his partner Natalie to live at the hospital so they could be with him all of the time.
Sister Tabatha and Mr Shaw’s grandparents and aunt from Leeds were also at his bedside throughout the seven weeks he was in hospital, and friends made many visits to him.
He said: “My family have been brilliant and I would like to thank them and Frenchay for allowing this to happen.
“The first week was touch and go, and they had no idea how I would be once I had woken up. Thinking about it feels so surreal, but luckily I’m here to tell the story.”
He said his head was double the size of a football after the incident.
He said: “When I was able to look in the mirror, the shock hit me for six, and I thought, ‘How the hell am I still here’.
“I literally looked like a character from the Ridley Scott film Alien.
“I have a long road ahead, and with everyone behind me I am very positive. I’d like to thank everyone for their support and friendship getting me through this. I never realised how much love I have around me.”
Colleagues and friends began a book filled with messages of love and support for Mr Shaw, which was kept at Hairport for all to sign.
Friends from the hairdressers worked with staff at the Audley Arms to start a collection for him too.
Mr Shaw said: “Reading some comments brought a lump to my thoat.
“I’m so ecstatic and happy, and would like to thank everyone who contributed [to the collection].”
The money contributed has gone towards a barber’s chair and pole for Mr Shaw.
He said: “I am itching to get back to normal – I know I have to be sensible and take baby steps getting back to work though.
“Those who have been waiting for my return or wanting a jolly barber should come on down.
“I’m slowly building back up to working full time again.”