A TOURIST who nearly died after a violent attack while on holiday in the UK spent the next four years in hospital and endured 65 surgeries to rebuild his shattered skull.
Ben Finlan, from Toronto, Canada, suffered multiple fractures of his skull and brain hemorrhage after being mugged outside a bar in central London – his attackers are still at large today.
Medical officials urged Ben’s family to fly to London from Canada immediately as they were unsure if he would survive the night.
Part of his skull was removed in emergency brain decompression surgery to save his life – but the titanium mesh that replaced it became infected, leading to further life-threatening complications.
Ben’s family and girlfriend Katherine Smith relocated to London to join him during his four-year recovery in hospital after the brutal attack on December 3, 2018.
Posting on TikTok, Katherine said: “Ben was attacked in London in December 2018.
“His mother received a call from the police and the Canadian Embassy to let us know that Ben is in a life-threatening condition due to a severe brain hemorrhage.
“They told us to get there immediately because they weren’t sure if he would make it through the night.
“Then the surgeons called us and asked if they could actually remove his skull to take some pressure off his brain.
“The next day we took the night flight to England.”
She added: “Ben was in a coma for ten days and was eventually transferred from intensive care.
“Ben continued to deteriorate very rapidly, so we had to put in a titanium mesh plate – because he didn’t have a skull, the skin started to press on his brain.
“Unfortunately, the skin and mesh became tangled and became infected, so we had to remove both the mesh and much of the skin.
“Over the next four years we had to replace the skull several times and try to reconstruct his scalp.
Ben’s surgeries included two vein grafts on his arm, two failed back muscle transplants to replace his scalp, over ten skin grafts from his thighs, a facial reconstruction, twenty blood transfusions, and surgery on a collapsed lung.
“There’s just been so many complications in that time — about 65 surgeries that left scars on his wrists, legs and of course his head.”
“But he’s doing fantastic now and he’s in rehab. They didn’t used to think he would survive, and here he is.
“The people who did this to Ben were never caught, but we’re not focused on those losers — we’re focused on Ben’s recovery.”
The Metropolitan Police have been asked for comment.
Ben will need his 66th operation in a few weeks to remove the large muscle flap on his neck.
But the Canadian has finally returned home after stunning doctors with the extent of his recovery.
Katherine said: “After 4 years, 3 months, 65 surgeries and countless sleepless nights, Ben moved home on March 2nd.
“However, the journey is not over yet. Ben will be on outpatient therapy – physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy – for the next few years and will have another operation to remove most of the excess muscle from his neck.
“We’ve said it a million times, but a process like this is impossible without the love and support of those around you.
“We’re so honored to finally share this news with you all and while we still have a long way to go, this is a milestone we’ve all been waiting for so long to reach.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7724084/muggers-almost-killed-me-london/ Muggers almost killed me while on holiday in London – I spent four years in hospital and had 65 surgeries but I’m at home now