'They call him 'miracle boy' in the hospital' - Mother of one punch attack victim tells of son's recovery
A mother has described her son's long and difficult road to recovery after a one punch attack in Sydney.
Jason Cierans (29) was approached from behind last August and viciously punched as he left a pub to go to a nearby shop to buy cigarettes.
A single punch was delivered to his jaw and he collapsed, hitting his head off the concrete pavement.
His mother, Stephanie Cierans, was at home in Cork when Gardai called to tell her of Jason's attack.
Her first reaction was one of denial.
"I said to them 'no, you have the wrong house, I was speaking to him only a few hours ago and he was fine'", she told The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTE Radio 1.
"When I spoke to the staff in St Vincent's, the hospital in Sydney where he was being treated, they told me to get there immediately, so I knew it was serious."
Jason emigrated to Australia to work in the construction industry at the beginning of the recession.
Stephanie said she thought that her son was dying but she didn't dare say that to her husband or other son.
"It was my worst nightmare and still is," she said.
She described seeing Jason for the first time, his head hugely swollen from the brain injury.
"When I saw him in the hospital bed, that image will never go from my mind. There were so many machines crowding around him.
"The priest came and anointed him, so we knew it wasn't looking good," she said.
But two weeks later to their relief, Jason woke up and asked: 'What are ye all doing here?'.
And though he was still very unwell, he was able to sit up in the bed and talk to his family.
"He is a miracle, they call him 'miracle boy' in hospital," Stephanie said.
Today Jason is at home in Cork, having arrived home from hospital in Australia last week.
"His memory isn't great but the experts say it should have recovered within two years.
"He gets fatigued very easily and he is unsure of himself, and that can be hard to watch.
"What I'm trying to do is to let the old Jason go and to meet the new Jason," Stephanie said.
Stephanie said that Jason yearns to go back to Australia once he is deemed fit enough to do so.
"He says he doesn't want an incident like this to stop him from traveling back to Australia.
"I feel very raw. You never relax as a mother. I don't think the situation has sunk in yet," Stephanie said.