Stabbing survivor makes miraculous recovery

By Abby Gillies

An x-ray of Sam Doyle's injury. Image / Supplied
An x-ray of Sam Doyle's injury. Image / Supplied

Sam Doyle's miraculous recovery from a stabbing through three layers of bone in his skull has made him even more grateful for his life.

The 20-year-old Christchurch man survived what doctors deemed almost unsurvivable when a 9cm blade was forced through the side of his head last month. It narrowly missed his eye and brain.

"He [the doctor] just said I'm really, really lucky. You probably have more chance of winning Lotto twice than surviving that," he said.

He has a scar and his vision has been affected, but his chances of a full recovery are good, said the apprentice electrician, who now values life even more.

"The doctor is really stoked with how far I've come since it happened.

"I already appreciated it but I appreciate life even more now."

On February 16, Mr Doyle and his flatmates were having a party at their Flockton St home in St Albans to farewell the house and each other before the flat disbanded.

They invited about 60 people.

Mr Doyle hung lights in the backyard so he would be able to see the guests and chose to stay sober for the evening so he could make sure he was a good host.

The party swelled to about 100 people - about 80 of whom Mr Doyle knew - but it wasn't out of control, he said.

While the party "had a really good vibe", Mr Doyle said he got a different feeling from a couple of former school classmates sitting in the corner, who had turned up uninvited.
"I think they were there for the wrong reasons."

During the night he talked to them as they hadn't seen each other since school.

However, when two of the men got into a fight he kicked them out of the party and "they weren't happy about that".

When they returned and confronted Mr Doyle, he had no idea of what was to come.

"I just remember telling him to back off. One knocked me to the ground and as I stood up one of them stabbed me in the head."

Incredibly, he felt little pain.

"There was heaps of blood.

"I was terrified, but I only felt like it went in a little bit," said Mr Doyle who remained calm and reached up to try and extract the knife sticking out from his head.

"I tried pulling it out with both hands but it had gone through three layers of bone - I had no chance."

When emergency services arrived they told him to leave the knife where it was and he was rushed to hospital to have it removed by surgeons.

Nivard Smith, 20, has been charged with wounding Doyle with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Mr Doyle hoped he received a long sentence, which he said would send a strong message about his actions and their impact.

"I think it's disgusting. He's got no remorse I hope he gets the biggest sentence he can."

His main focus though is on his recovery and getting on with his life including an upcoming holiday to Australia with friends and plans to do an OE in the future.

- APNZ

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