Dad forgot his family and how to talk after losing part of skull in Christmas Eve attack

A Christmas Eve assault victim who lost part of his skull and forgot his family is determined to enjoy this year’s celebrations.

Ian Grimes, 40, says he is lucky to be alive after suffering brain damage and needing a life-saving operation.

He was attacked by a stranger as he walked home with wife Bethan and their three children last year.

Ian’s head hit the pavement, causing a brain bleed, fractured skull and a paralysed right vocal cord.

Medics at a specialist neurology hospital, the Walton Centre, in Liverpool, removed pieces of his skull to ease pressure on his brain as it swelled.

When he woke from a coma he did not remember Bethan, their daughter Penny, five, or sons Casper, three, and Rufus, two.

Since leaving hospital he has had to learn to talk and read again.

Yet, despite suffering a range of illnesses – including hearing problems, dizziness, depression, anxiety and amnesia – Ian is determined to enjoy Christmas 2020.

He said: “I’m lucky to even be able to reflect on what happened at all. Christmas may never be the same, it will always have haunting memories. But it’s a reminder I am a survivor.”

He said wonderful people had rallied to help him: “Christmas is about remembering the positives of the year, being with the people you love and appreciating all you have. For me it’s such a lot.”

Dental nurse Bethan, 32, is now full-time carer for ex-factory engineer Ian, who is unable to work. She said he is getting stronger and is positive about the future.