Mark is coming home four months after accident

A young man is finally coming home, four months after a tragic accident in Austrailia left him brain damaged.

Mark in hospital with mum Julie, dad Malcolm and girlfriend Caro van Laak
Mark in hospital with mum Julie, dad Malcolm and girlfriend Caro van Laak

Julie and Malcolm Middlehurst, from Billinge, have confirmed that they will fly home from Perth Airport on Saturday night with 28-year-old son Mark who has been in hospital there since the accident on November 3.

But thanks to a huge fundraising campaign, the family have raised the £50,000 needed to get Mark home along with a medical team and he has now been given the green light to fly.

Mark will arrive back to Manchester on Sunday and will be taken to The Walton Centre in Liverpool where his treatment will continue.

His mum Julie, a healthcare assistant on the maternity ward at Wigan Infirmary, said: “We are really pleased to be coming home.

“We are a bit apprehensive about what life will be for us but we can’t wait to see our friends and family.

“It was pretty much four months to the day since the accident which was November 3.

“He has got a place at The Walton Centre so we will be going there from the airport to continue his care and then hopefully he will be go on to some sort of rehabilitation when the time is right.”

Mark suffered a severe head injury after crashing a dune buggy while on a day out with friends in Perth. He had been working on a farm as part of a year-long trip of a lifetime.

Since then his progress has been slow but Julie and Malcolm hope that bringing him home to his friends and family will help him.

“His progress is very slow. He is still being fed by a peg into his stomach, he can’t eat or talk,” said Julie, 58.

“But he has started to mumble a little bit and he occasionally smiles which is nice to see. If we are talking or laughing he will sometimes appear to smile. We don’t know what he is thinking.

“It has been horrendous for his friends and family back home. They don’t really know what he is like now, they have only been able to imagine.

“It will be nice for Mark to have some new faces.”