MITCH Cleary (25) has an undeniable spark in his eye that offers just a glimpse of the determination and strength he has shown in the two years since an unprovoked attack nearly took his life.
A split-second decision to help someone outside a Northbridge nightclub saw the “laidback” Scarborough building supervisor become victim to a coward-punch.
Mitch’s and his family’s lives changed the moment his head hit the pavement.
“I got the phone call at 3am… you never ever think it’s going to happen to you,” his mum Pippa, of Karrinyup, said.
“He just went to pick up a very good friend working at a club; it happened in a split-second.
“Mitch had his hands by his side, he was punched and he just fell straight to the ground. He got to hospital within about four minutes and was rushed into surgery; they removed his skull just in time before he died.”
Pippa said Mitch had defied the odds just by opening his eyes, with doctors saying it was unlikely he would wake from his coma.
“He was in intensive care and still had not woken up and we were there once again looking at the scans the neuros were showing us, shaking their heads,” she said.
“They were saying two-thirds of Mitch’s brain was damaged and this particular day, the neurologist said “look, he may not even wake up”.
“We were so shocked by that and we all walked outside in silence. I was with my sisters at the time and we sat on the grass outside the church next to the hospital for about an hour and it was just like an unspoken thing, we decided that’s not the way it was going to be.”
A tight-knit team of 12 family members and friends developed a roster to ensure the former Sacred Heart College student was well supported.
“You can’t change it and you can’t wallow in it,” Pippa said.
And Mitch, who is now at Brightwater Oats Street in East Victoria Park, is continuing to exceed expectations.
“You can see how well he looks and this is a boy who they told us would never eat, would never drink,” Pippa said.
“He can’t talk yet but he’s trying; he can’t indicate yes or no or anything like that but we’re working on it.
“We are hoping to have him walking and talking. In our heads we kind of have a bit of a five-year plan and that’s where we’d like to get him.”
She said Mitch’s big loves in life were his mates, fishing and his dog Buddha.
“That was Mitch, he was the kind of person that if anyone had to move house Mitch would be there helping them,” she said.
“He’s just got a beautiful nature and that’s why we think all of this good stuff is coming to him now.”
To help him progress, the family have Mitch involved in a number of alternative therapies, including reiki and reflexology, to compliment his treatments.
“We believe that he can be a functioning independent man again so that’s what we’re working towards,” Pippa said.
“We just think the world of him, honestly we are so proud of what he’s done and it’s all been him. He’s a very strong boy.”
For more about on Mitch and his recovery, visit the Mitch Cleary community Facebook page.
Spiritual fare for Cleary Trust
MONEY raised at a wellness fair at the Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club on May 16 will be given to the Mitch Cleary Trust.
Karmic Konnections Wellness Fair organiser Kylie Beveridge, said gold coin donations to enter, as well as the proceeds of a raffle worth $700 would go into the Trust to help with Mitchs continuing care.
“I am hoping the fair will bring healing to many people in need and to bring an awareness of Mitch’s story of inspiration and recovery,” Mrs Beveridge said.
“He is a dear client of mine; I visit him monthly to give him reiki.
“I have connected with Mitch on a very deep level and wanted to help him with his ongoing recovery expenses. I am also passionate about sharing his story, knowing Mitch has changed my life for the better.”
She said there would be a number of experiences on offer at the fair including reiki, chakra, sound, crystal and forensic healing, meditation, Indian head massage, readings, spiritual art, flower therapy and spiritual art.
“People coming to this fair can expect a beautiful space filled with many gifted light workers sharing their unique crafts,” she said.
“The space will be filled with love, laughter and magic, a safe space for all to share and feel at peace. There will be 30 minute vibrational sound meditations running throughout the day for only $10.
“People can get involved by coming along on the day and bringing their family and friends.”
Items for the raffle were donated by light workers who will be there on the day.
For more, visit karmickonnections.com or like Karmic Konnections on Facebook.