Firefighter may 'never be himself again'

SEAMUS BOYER
Last updated 11:34 06/11/2012
Peter Fisher.
Supplied
ICU: Martinborough volunteer firefighter Peter Fisher.

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Wairarapa

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A firefighter brutally bashed when he went to the aid of a group of teenagers may never ''be himself again'', his father says.

Peter Fisher underwent five hours of facial reconstruction surgery at Hutt Hospital yesterday, during which 12 metal plates were inserted in his face by a team of four surgeons.

Mr Fisher, a volunteer firefighter, had gone to eject an unwanted guest from a gathering of 14-year-olds in Martinborough last week when the alleged gatecrasher is said to have attacked him.

Yesterday Mr Fisher's father Brian said his son had suffered ''extensive bone damage'' to his eye sockets, nose and mouth, including a dislodged upper palette and several missing teeth.

''His injuries were very extensive. He took a very, very brutal beating ... a very serious stomping.''

Most concerning was the brain damage he had suffered, which doctors likened to the equivalent of ''two or three little strokes'', he said.

''With any brain injury, there's very serious consequences. I don't think he's ever going to be himself again.

''The paralysis on the right side is very worrying, he's got no movement in his right arm and only some movement in his right leg.''

His son had initially been kept in an induced coma by hospital staff for 3 1/2 days. He was now sleeping about 20 hours each day, but was able to talk ''a little bit'' while awake.

At his bedside was ''the tight five'' of partner Freida, brother Paul, sister Dee and parents Brian and Noeline.

The family hoped to have a better understanding of how the surgery went after talking to doctors this morning, Mr Fisher said.

The surgery came on the same day the alleged attacker had more charges laid against him at Masterton District Court.

Milton Haira, 25, made a brief appearance before being further remanded in custody without plea until next month.

A charge of assault on Mr Fisher was withdrawn and replaced with a more serious charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Haira was also charged with assaulting four teenage girls at the party, all 14, and of threatening to kill three members of the group.

Police have said the gathering, mostly of girls, was supervised and Haira, who lived nearby, arrived intoxicated. When he refused to leave, the mother of the girl who lived there asked Mr Fisher to help remove him.

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An argument broke out, and Mr Fisher was attacked.

Contact Seamus Boyer
Wairarapa reporter
Email: seamus.boyer@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @SeamusBoyer

- The Dominion Post

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