Family of Wigan dad in coma following brutal King Street attack praying for recovery after signs of hope

Sam Yates with his fiancee Natalie Atherton
Sam Yates with his fiancee Natalie Atherton

The family of a Wigan dad who is in a coma following a brutal attack on King Street says there are hopeful signs he may be starting the long road to recovery.


Sam Yates, 31, has been in Salford Royal hospital since March 23 after he was punched in the back of the head in a shocking and sudden town centre attack.

He was placed in an induced coma and has suffered a severe brain injury, needing one operation to remove part of his skull because of the swelling.

Related: Wigan dad left in coma after brutal attack on King Street night out

However, his dad Geoff, who has spent a lot of time at his bedside along with his mum Dawn Allen, his four siblings, his fiancee Natalie Atherton and his three children, says in the past few days he has started opening his eyes and moving his arms.

Geoff, 50, said: "Sam's in and out of consciousness and is still falling asleep a lot but he is opening his eyes. That means something is working in his brain.

"In the past few days he's had some movement in one of his arms, which is a good sign, and yesterday he was moving both of his arms slightly, lifting them up a bit.

"We're just taking it day and day and praying that these improvements will carry on. We all know it's going to take a long time.

"Everybody is now feeling more positive than last week because we are looking at a very different outcome."

Sam has also had an operation to put the ventilator in his neck rather than his mouth to make it more comfortable for him.