I lost half my skull after brutal punch – now I have to wear a helmet outside

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    A man who was punched so hard that half of his skull had to be removed now lives in constant fear and has to wear a helmet outside.

    Braden Stromberg, 27, had a bleed on his brain and was placed in an induced coma following an unprovoked assault on May 2 last year.

    He had been walking to the shops with his girlfriend when he was brutally attacked from behind by Kyle Stephenson in Bolsover, Derbyshire.

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    Braden received a massive punch to the face before smashing his head on the side of the road.

    The grounds worker was rushed to hospital where doctors battled to save his life and were forced to remove the right side of his skull during a gruelling three hour operation.

    Braden was in a critical condition and spent 15 days in an induced coma before making an incredible recovery which stunned doctors.

    But he now lives in fear that even a small bump to the head could kill him and must wear a helmet to protect one side of his exposed head whenever he leaves the house.

    He is awaiting surgery to have a titanium plate fused to hi head so he can return to his normal life.

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    Braden, from Mansfield, said: "Every doctor I have spoken to has said how lucky I am to not have woken up from the coma paralysed or in a vegetated state.

    "They can’t believe it. There might be an inch of spinal fluid where my skull has been removed and then it’s just my brain unprotected.

    “If I knocked this it could potentially be fatal."

    Braden's next operation is due at Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital in March.

    But he is still reeling from the brutal attack and is now unemployed and dealing with the immense trauma he suffered.

    “I am able to talk and move around but the attack has had life-changing effects on me mentally, physically and emotionally," he said.

    “I now have poor dexterity in my left eye and left hand. I can’t close my right eye and keep my left eye open, and I can’t grip things with my left hand."

    Braden has no real memory of the incident but was told Stephenson followed him and his girlfriend through an alleyway before launching his cowardly attack.

    Stephenson, 32, has pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to 10 and a half months in prison at Derby Crown Court on February 6.

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