Determined not to fall

HAVING lost so many loved ones in his short life, Joe Cassidy is feeling more than a little blessed to be standing on his own two feet.

Mr Cassidy, 25, woke up in hospital a fortnight ago from a three-week coma.

He had fallen over a wall at Byron Bay's Beach Hotel one night at the end of August and hit his head, leaving him fighting for his life in hospital.

He could have died, or could have been left severely brain-damaged.

But yesterday, taking time out from rehabilitation, he was walking around in the sunshine at Byron Bay.

Mr Cassidy said he was out drinking with his friends to the memory of his cousin, who had died just a month earlier.

But his experience five weeks ago has changed his life - although it hasn't dampened his sense of humour.

“He calls himself Humpty Dumpty,” Mr Cassidy's aunt, Dee Tinley, said.

“That was my first thing (when he woke), did he have a sense of humour? And he did.”

Mr Cassidy now has short-term memory loss, damaged eyesight, and damage to his hearing.

He can't recall waking up in hospital.

“I don't remember first waking up. I was medicated,” he said.

But he now wants to change his drinking habits.

“I'll calm down, for sure,” Mr Cassidy said.

“I stressed out one of my best friends.”

Ms Tinley said it was the drunkenness, not the drinking, that was causing problems among young locals.

“They're all little boys trying to be big men because there's no one to look after them,” she said.

“There's so many single parents around here.”

Ms Tinley said Mr Cassidy needed a laptop computer to help with his recovery. If anyone can help, please call Ms Tinley on 0401 017 636.

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