Punch survivor in a coma wakes up after family planned his funeral

A father of three, who was considered brain dead after a one-punch attack, has woken up after his life support was turned off and his family had planned his funeral.

Doctors did everything to save Melbourne dad Beau Shortis after he was punched and suffered brain damage following his best friend’s engagement party in Frankston in 2017, but the outlook was grim.

His sister, Donna Griffiths, said the family had “no hope” after the 34-year-old spent almost a month in a coma at the Alfred Hospital with no brain activity. She had begun planning his funeral, and more than 60 family and friends had said their goodbyes to him in hospital.

“The doctors told us there was nothing more they could do, that they would try, that they would never give up on him,” Ms Griffiths said.

Beau Shortis in a coma as his sister Donna Griffiths sits at his side. Source: 7 News
Beau Shortis in a coma as his sister Donna Griffiths sits at his side. Source: 7 News

But Mr Shortis hadn’t given up either and two days after his life support was turned off he woke from his coma.

“There's a reason why I'm here, I don't know what that reason is,” he said.

“It's just not my time yet.”

The 34-year-old spent nine weeks in hospital including five in an acquired brain injury clinic.

Mr Shortis awake with his sister. Source: 7 News
Mr Shortis awake with his sister. Source: 7 News
The crime scene at Frankston in 2017. Source: 7 News
The crime scene at Frankston in 2017. Source: 7 News

He said when he finally woke he broke down crying and thought “it was all a big joke”.

But now he’s focused on getting his life back to normal. He’s undergoing rehabilitation twice a week and focusing on spending time with his three children.

“Family is everything to me, as long as they've still got their dad, that makes me happy,” he said.

Victoria Police have charged a man with assaulting Mr Shortis.

The 34-year-old with his three kids. Source: 7 News
The 34-year-old with his three kids. Source: 7 News
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