An electrician shared the story of how he was attacked by baseball bat-wielding thugs as he walked back from a nightclub.
Adam Harcombe, 27 years old, has now spoken out for the first-time about the ordeal, as Nathan Emery, Callum Meirion Thomas, and Nathan Emery were both sentenced.
After a night out in Porth, south Wales with his friend Lucy Harcombe, Mr Harcombe decided to walk Lucy home. But he was captivated by Thomas, a Volkswagen Golf driver.
Thomas, 36-year-old Emery, was in the passenger seat. He circled around a one way system and then the thugs approached Mr Harcombe.
Thomas struck him repeatedly with the baseball bat that he had in his car boot. The two of them then fled the scene. Wales Online reports.
He was left fighting for his life at University Hospital of Wales Heath in Cardiff.
His brain was swelling and a blood clot was found. A bone from his skull had to be removed.
He lost vision in his left eyes and spent 16 weeks in hospital, losing 14 kg.
After initially being in a coma for 10 miles, Harcombe was unable walk 10 more steps after his initial awakening.
He could not use the toilet or the shower by himself and had to learn how brush his teeth again.
He lost all of his confidence and was forced to leave. “filled with anger and anxiety”Due to the scar left on his head, he was ashamed to be seen in public.
“I only remember speaking to Lucy outside the club but nothing apart from that,”He stated.
“They’ve changed my life forever. What I would say is just think before you do something stupid. I’m lucky to be alive. If the paramedics didn’t arrive in time and without the surgeons in the Heath, I could have lost my life.
“It was terrifying, and I will always remember it. It was life-changing. To be honest, the hardest part was learning to accept my injuries.
“When I think back about it now, it has made me so strong, I’m almost grateful for it. It brought a side of my character out that I didn’t know I had.”
Thomas, originally from Porth was found guilty after a trial of grievous bodily injuries with intent, and having an offensive weapons.
After being tried for inflicting grievous bodily injury, Emery of Tonypandy (south Wales) was convicted by a jury. Thomas was sent to prison for 13 years, while Emery was sentenced at Merthyr Crown Court for three years.
Mr Harcombe, an electrician who is now unable to work, stated: “When I got to face them and read out my victim personal statement, that was massive for myself.
“While I was nervous at first, once I saw them and heard the statement out, it was all fine. Although it was difficult because I was still partially blind in one eye, I felt a sense of relief and was proud. It was priceless to see the faces of those boys and realize they hadn’t beat me. I was still alive and kicking.
“I had seen what they looked like before. When they called Mr Thomas up, my heart racing, but once he came out and I saw him, I thought, this was the guy who beat me up, and I just thought, there is nothing I can’t do now after facing you. When they were sentenced it was a massive sigh of relief. It felt like closure and that I could move on.”
Mr Harcombe is inked with the date of the attack (September 6, 2020) and the date he woke up from his coma (September 13, 2020).
He now has Emery and Thomas’s date inked on his arm. Also, 5710 and 3556 are the shoulder numbers for the officers who brought them to justice.
Mr Harcombe went on: “The next steps for me were just to keep on training in the gym.
“It kept me focused. However, I did not realize that I would need another operation on my head. It was swelling so I went to the neurosurgeon. She sent me for an MRI. I had to have my bone removed in November of last year. I then had to wait eight weeks for a titanium plate to be placed.
“In November I was due to have my eye done, but that got cancelled, but I had a phone call in January of this year to say it will be going ahead in February, but it was cancelled again until March.
“I was at the Heath hospital, feeling nervous, but they went ahead and I could see again a few hours later.
“It was a cornea transplant. I had an infection and scarring on my eye which had to be removed. I can remember coming out of surgery and I woke up and realised I could see my dad. It was an amazing moment. It was quite emotional to be honest.”
He is now training for the Cardiff 10k on Sept 4, less than two years after he was attacked. There could also be positive news in the future for him to get back to work.
“It is a bit of a milestone,”He stated.
“My running has come on loads in the last two months. All I’m doing training wise at the moment is walking and running. I don’t want to go back in the pool until I see the doctors again because of chlorine.
“I am very friendly with my boss and could possibly be offered a job in the office. This would be great for me right now. I need to talk to the DVLA to learn more about driving. That’s my next challenge.
“I’ve been advised that I could go back to play rugby, but I’ve decided not to due to the rate of head injuries. I have done my coaching qualifications and I’m looking at the walking rugby.
“This year, I coached the Porth Harlequins’ under-16s. It was great to be back in that group. Coaching gave me a lot satisfaction.
“I’ve tried to train as much as I can which has helped loads with my mental health and my outlook on life. I listen to motivational speeches, because my mental health was pretty poor. I had counselling last year and it did help me a lot.
Mr Harcombe has told his story on social media, and has found that his road to recovery has been a motivation to others around the world who are going through a similar experience.
He added: “My Instagram account is active and many people have messaged me to thank me for helping them get back on their feet and improving their mental health. It’s a huge satisfaction for me.
“There were days I thought something like this would never happen for me again, but I had to keep reminding myself not to give up now.”