Mum's 'miracle' joy as doorman shot in head makes recovery
Published 21/09/2010 | 05:00
A PUB doorman who survived a shotgun blast to the head and body and a bystander who was shot up to 10 times outside a pub have both made miraculous recoveries.
Wayne Barrett (31), from Finglas, spent three weeks in an induced coma at the intensive care unit (ICU) of Beaumont Hospital after he was shot once in the head and twice in the body while working as a doorman at the Players Lounge in Fairview, north Dublin.
Pub customer Austen Purcell (23), from nearby Marino, was also shot up to 10 times by the same assailant as he was leaving the pub, on July 26. But he has also made a miraculous recovery despite having a bullet still lodged in his body, his family revealed yesterday.
His friend Brian Masterson (30) suffered superficial gunshot wounds during the attack and was released from hospital after three days.
Mr Barrett's mother Mary McNeill marvelled at her son's incredible recovery and thanked the hundreds of people who have cared for her son and prayed on his behalf. She also revealed Wayne's immediate family are not speaking to gardai about the shooting.
Speaking on RTE's 'Liveline' programme yesterday she said her son did not appear to have suffered any brain damage despite the serious head injuries he suffered.
"It's miraculous. The apparent damage to the brain -- we're not seeing it," she said.
Her son's personality does not seem to be affected and he has regained movement in his right arm and leg, she revealed.
"He's just a miracle man, that's all I can say," she added.
His initial prognosis was touch and go when he was first brought to the ICU unit, Mrs McNeill said.
"After four days, we were told it was a miracle he was still there," she said.
The family had a sleepless night when Wayne had to undergo emergency brain surgery a few days later but he came through with flying colours, she added.
He is now talking again and making steady progress as he recuperates from the ordeal at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, although he has no memory of the actual shooting, she said.
Meanwhile, Mr Purcell's aunt also revealed that their family is also thankful for the steady progress her nephew is making as he recovers from the ordeal at the Mater Hospital.
"He had a lot of injuries. Some will be ongoing for 18 months," she told 'Liveline'.
He suffered gunshots to the legs, stomach and abdomen and one bullet still remains lodged inside his body, she revealed.
"He had a lot of fighting to do but he's done just brilliantly," she said.
He was even let out of hospital for a few hours on Sunday but will continue to require treatment for some time.
"The main thing is he's recovering. He's eating again. He's in great form and he's positive about the future," she added.
The attempted murder of the three men as they chatted outside the reputable sports pub will be reconstructed on RTE's 'CrimeCall' programme at 10.15pm tonight as gardai continue to look for witnesses to the shooting.