Ex-Carlisle United player Danny Hodgson has been allowed home from hospital after being in a coma from an unprovoked one punch attack.
Four months ago, the talented 25-year-old footballer was left fighting for his life after being struck out in Perth, Australia.
Hodgson, who was on the books at the League Two club in his teens, has been in Royal Perth Hospital with critical injuries following an apparent random blow to the head.
He was punched in the back of the head at a Perth train station, hit his head on the floor after falling and suffered a bleed to the brain, leaving him in a coma.
Hodgson – nicknamed Ironman by doctors – spent weeks in intensive care before being transferred to a rehabilitation hospital.
His condition had worsened with more bleeds on the brain in October 2021, however, after another month of battling on, he was able to be moved out of ICU after 59 days.
But in what his family are calling a ‘Christmas miracle’, the 26 year old, a player for ECU Joondalup, will be allowed to spend the 25th of December at home with his loved ones.
On Christmas Eve, an emotional family statement described the news as the ‘perfect gift’.
It read: “Seventeen weeks ago we began an unimaginable journey that no family should ever have to take.
“Our son, brother, nephew, grandson and boyfriend, Danny Hodgson, was struck down in an unprovoked act of violence, and in the blink of an eye our lives changed forever.
While every minute of every hour of every day of the past 17 weeks has been uncertain, we have always known two important things.
“Danny is a fighter, and we would walk this journey together.
“Today, Danny is preparing to leave hospital for a very short time with his beautiful Jess at his side to be part of our family Christmas.
“Our heartfelt appreciation goes to the medical and rehabilitation staff at Fiona Stanley Hospital who have helped to make this possible.
“Danny’s home visit is the most perfect gift we could ask for and all the proof we need that Christmas miracles do happen.
“Merry Christmas from the Hodgson family.”
His mum, Nicola, and dad Peter have flown to Australia to spend Christmas with Danny and partner Jess.
A 17 year old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm earlier this month.
At the time, Hodgson’s parents described the news as providing a ‘small amount of closure to a horrific chapter’.
They added: “One act of violence lead to thousands of acts of kindness.
“The love shown to us as a family has gotten us this far.”
Manchester United star Dean Henderson and ex-England keeper Scott Carson have both previously tweeted about the horror attack, with Henderson donating £3,000 to the cause.
Social media users have reacted with news that the ex-Carlisle player is allowed home after being in a coma from the one punch attack…
Stephen Frater-Eversen: A true Christmas gift, sending you all a very Merry Christmas and know 2022 will be full of more memorable miracles even though your journey will be long and hard. During those dark times remember the whole football community is behind you xxxxxx
Ros Barnes: Wishing you a lovely family time together. Such a lot to go through after that awful injury. Hoping for a very good recovery, Danny.
Darren Robinson: This is by far the best Xmas pic we will see all Christmas ❤️ Danny your a bloody legend sir keep up the great recovery work. Wishing you and your awesome family and friends a wonderful Xmas together and hope 2022 is a great year for you all. We all love you Dan ❤️
Ginny Kidd: Shedding a tear seeing this… such wonderful news.. keep fighting Danny, you can do this with all the fantastic support around you ❤️
Sue Wright: How awesome for Danny to be home for Christmas and what a wonderful family portrait. Merry Christmas to the Hodgson family.
Ashley Simpson: This melts my heart. Have a wonderful day together and wishing you all peace, health and happiness for the new year. ♥️
Reece Sieradzki: Wonderful news! So happy to see a smile back on your face Danny keep up the good work on the road to recovery. merry Christmas pal to you & your family xo ❤️🎅
Rachelle Danby: So lovely to hear Danny can go home for a short while. It is great to hear he is improving. I hope he makes a full recovery.
Cat Rowe: This is such fantastic and joyous news. This is the true meaning of Christmas, spending it with your loved ones. Life is so precious and must be appreciated. Merry Christmas to Danny and family 💚
Rochelle Willis: What a very special Christmas it will be for you all! So wonderful to see Danny is recovering bit by bit. Praying for strength and courage on this journey for him and the family. Have a wonderful Christmas 🎄 ⚽️
Heather Henderson: Best news ever. Stay strong Danny. U got this
Jason Lee: Wow, this is just brilliant to hear, wishing him all the best in recovery, just look at what it means to be with loved ones. Happy Christmas