A white scar curling down the side of Lars Jacobsen's skull is the only outward sign he nearly lost his life in a charity boxing fight a year ago.
Cupping his left ear and disappearing under newly grown hair, it fails to do justice to the traumatic brain injury that saw him rushed to Auckland Hospital for emergency neurosurgery on May 4, 2018.
A bleed on the brain had squashed Jacobsen's brain seven millimetres one direction inside his skull after a seemingly innocuous blow during his charity bout at Boxing Alley in Parnell.
Five days were spent in intensive care and Jacobsen could not form new memories for 16 days afterwards. His recovery to peak mental capacity will not be reached until the two-year mark.
Jacobsen, 37, has a pretty patchy memory of the night itself, which was meant to be a fun physical challenge for the self-confessed "wannabe athlete".
"I think sometime between the first and second, or in the second, where the bleed sort of generated," Jacobsen said, "Pretty much from then on it gets really scatty."
His wife Louise Jacobsen's recollection is far more vivid.
"The towel was thrown in in the third round. Lars had a seizure and just completely locked up against the ropes," Louise said.
"The doctor was on top of Lars at this point putting a breathing tube down his throat, and rebroke his nose. It was just the slowest, most painful 20 minutes waiting for the ambulance.
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Day 4 on my road to recovery. Hair cut time - thanks dad! Surgeons missed a spot in the rush. #buzzcut #haircut #traumaticbraininjury #braininjuryawareness #invisableinjury #abi #craniotomy #headinjury #corporateboxing #fighter #roadtorecovery #nymarathon2019 #newyorkmarathon2019 #braininjuryawareness #braininjury #tbi #tbisurvivor #tbiawareness #concussion ##braininjuryrecovery #tbisupport #tbirecovery #health
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"I remember standing in the ring and looking around at everyone crying with their hands over their mouths being like holy s*** what's going on? The doctor was just massaging his heart basically keeping Lars alive until the ambulance got there, and it was horrific."
Lars was rushed to Auckland City Hospital and a craniotomy was performed - a procedure where part of the skull is removed and the blood that had been increasing the pressure on his brain was released.
"At the hospital, it was almost an out-of-body experience, like this isn't my life," Louise said.
"How did we go from a fitness challenge to in hospital with my husband nearly dead."
One of the next conscious memories Lars has is looking down at his then 5-month-old daughter, Elle, from his hospital bed thinking "oh no what have I done".
Since May last year, Lars has undergone a range of physical, speech and language and occupational therapy, starting with five weeks at ABI Rehab.
He returned to work as a manager at manufacturing business Tredsafe for one hour, five months after his accident, and came home "shattered" from the mental strain.
He now works 30 hours a week despite ongoing fatigue and his processing speed still low.
A big mental component of Lars recovery, to escape being left alone with his thoughts in bed, was his insistence to begin running again.
But he needed to convince his family it would be safe, so he agreed to always run with his sister Renee Woolcott.
"I needed to take back some kind of control at ABI Rehab, because I didn't feel like I had a lot. But physically, my motor-skills and vision, it was just not something I could do by myself at all, and rightly so my family were scared."
It's led the siblings to attempt a longstanding goal to compete in the New York Marathon, which they will do this November.
The pair have set up a Givealittle page aiming to raise $15,000 through the marathon: $11,000 for the Brain Injury Association of Auckland and $4000 for the Rising New York Road Runners charity to promote fitness.
"My sister had a lot to give up to come down and help me out. But our first runs just created this platform to really make a drive for this [NY marathon] and make a difference."
Yet, on the subject of the safety of charity boxing, Lars and Louise differ somewhat.
"I 100 per cent think charity boxing should be illegal," Louise said.
"I don't think people understand what people are getting themselves into when it comes to amateur boxing. You're putting your brain and body on the line."
Yet, Lars by his own admission is conflicted over whether charity boxing should continue.
"I never want anyone to go through what we've had to as a family," Lars said.
"I love free choice and the ability to do a sport like that but at the same time when people are dying, it's a pretty horrific tale around it. It's a much bigger risk than I was ever aware of."
Three people have died during charity boxing bouts, or training for them, in New Zealand since 2016.
Following the most recent death of Christchurch man Kain Parsons in a charity bout in November 2018, an emergency meeting was called between many of New Zealand's professional and amateur boxing associations and stricter safety standards drawn up for such events.
Charity bouts run under the New Zealand Processional and Amateur Boxing Association now have mandatory head hear for all charity fights, and fighters are only allowed one standing 8 count before a bout is stopped by the referee.
However, Jacobsen said he attributes no blame to Boxing Alley in Parnell for his injury saying "I really think it's on me".
Headgear was used in the May 4 fight Jacobsen was injured in and there were two doctors on site. Following Jacobsen's injury however, Boxing Alley stopped running charity events.