British detectives are trying to piece together a vicious attack that has left New Zealander Fred Lundon on life support in Southampton General Hospital.

Mr Lundon, 33, was found collapsed in a pool of blood outside a fish'n'chip shop on Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, on July 9, the Guernsey Press newspaper reports.

Police said he had horrific head injuries and a large fracture from the top of his neck to above his mouth.

His British wife, Sharon, 34, spent their second wedding anniversary last Tuesday by his bed, but has now flown back to Guernsey to look after their daughter, Sophie, 2. One of her relatives has remained by her husband's bedside.

"When I first saw Fred lying in the hospital bed ... he was unrecognisable," she said.

"We were not sure if he would make it because his injuries were so terrible ... medical staff there said he looked like he had been in a really bad car crash."

The couple met 10 years ago when Mrs Lundon was touring New Zealand. In 2002, when she was expecting their first child, they agreed that they would bring up their baby in Guernsey, where Mrs Lundon grew up.

They have worked hard to buy their dream home. They recently moved into a bungalow in the township of St Martins but Mrs Lundon said that with her husband unable to work, their future there was uncertain.

"We have done everything to save enough money for this house. Fred was doing all the repairs and renovation work.

"With him unable to work, how are we going to repay the mortgage?"

Mrs Lundon, who works part-time in a bank despite suffering from polymyositis - a rare muscle-wasting disease - said this income disqualified her from social security payments.

Detectives said they were still looking for witnesses to the assault. They believed Mr Lundon was drinking with a friend in a pub before heading to the chip shop about 7pm on the Friday, but said he could have got into an argument.

Mrs Lundon said her husband had no enemies.

"Fred has fitted into life here well and I cannot think of anyone who would want to do this to him.

"I know he wouldn't hit anyone and he is such a gentle husband and father. He is the most laid-back person I know.

"Whoever has done this has ruined my husband's life as well as our little girl's," she said.

"Because of my illness Fred does everything, from cooking to bathing our little girl when I am tired and feeling sick."

Mrs Lundon said doctors had warned her that her husband's personality could change.