Friday 20 September 2019

'It was horrific looking at him lying there lifeless' - Wife of Liverpool fan Sean Cox in an emotional interview

On the mend: Seán Cox, with his wife Martina, was seriously injured during an assault at Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final clash with Roma last April
On the mend: Seán Cox, with his wife Martina, was seriously injured during an assault at Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final clash with Roma last April
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

The wife of Liverpool fan Sean Cox has admitted her family's life has been "turned upside down" by the attack that left her husband battling for his life with serious head injuries.

Irishman Sean was attacked by Roma supporters moments before Liverpool's Champions League quarter-final at Anfield last April and Martina Cox has admitted he will never fully recover from what she described as a "life-changing, horrific fall".

Roma fan Daniele Sciusco, 29, was jailed for violent disorder in August for his part in trouble outside the ground and in an emotional interview with the BBC, Mrs Cox gave an update on Sean's current condition and spoke from the heart about the night her family was changed forever.

"He's been supporting Liverpool all his life," Mrs Cox said. "Sean regularly went to matches with either his brother or family, it was a very natural thing for him to do.

"It was a really familiar place for him. He would have felt quite safe there as well. He went to a match and he never returned home. Our life has been turned upside down.

"On the night, I got a phone call from my sister-in-law and she said Sean had a hit to the head and he was on his way to the Aintree Hospital.

"I got a call from a nurse and she explained that Sean had had a bleed on the brain and severe bruising and needed emergency surgery.

"I was just in absolute shock, I didn't really take it in and I didn't look on social media."

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Liverpool supporter Sean Cox with his wife Martina. Picture: Tim Stewart

Mrs Cox's agony was mixed with anger in the interview, as she spoke about the "senseless" nature of the attack and his small steps towards recovery in recent weeks.

"It was horrific looking at him, absolutely horrific. Your husband, just lying there lifeless. Awful really," she continued.

"He was fully sedated for two weeks immediately after the attack, then it took nearly another four weeks for him to actually come around. It wasn't actually until we got to Beaumont that he had opened his eyes, but he wasn't fully conscious as such.

"Sean's started to drink as well but it's all very slow and measured because they're all very small, tiny little steps but it's good progress.

"There are more words coming since he started to eat - that does help - but it's a very long, slow process and long journey for Sean.

"They say you don't get back the same person and we know that.

"It is difficult. There are good days and bad days, but it's all about trying to get Sean to the best place and that's where I'm at.

"I miss Sean, our children miss their Dad. We're trying to muddle through it and do the best we can. Sean would want us to get on with our lives and we're trying as best we can.

"I have two kids in college and my youngest daughter is doing her leaving certificate this year so we have to get on with certain things, but it's difficult.

"He's very determined in everything that he does. Obviously the goal is to get him home, that's what we all want, all his family want, and he belongs here with us."

Roma have donated €150,000 to help with her husband's medical and rehab costs, with some of that figure coming in the form of a personal donation from the club's president Jim Pallotta.

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Donations have been flooding in for a fundraising page for injured Liverpool fan Sean Cox (Niall Carson/PA).

"Roma don't have any connection to Sean but they really have stepped up to the plate in terms of what they have given for the donation and they have also agreed to work with us in terms of fundraising activities going forward," added Mrs Cox.

"There was a bucket collection at the (Liverpool versus) Cardiff match and half the funds raised were matched by the Liverpool Foundation so that was about £29,000 which is really good and we're very grateful for that. Liverpool have also agreed to help with some fundraising in terms of community activity going forward so that's where we're at.

"Obviously we want the best for Sean because I think he deserves it because this shouldn't have happened and we've done everything we can in terms of fundraising.

"People have rallied around, they've done so much, it's been heart-warming."

Donations to the SupportSean campaign can be made at  http://www.gofundme.com/SupportSeanCox

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