Dad left with ‘sunken head’ in bat attack
A dad has been left paralysed with half a skull and a "sunken brain" after a terrifying attack which saw the culprit jailed for just two months.
Steven Augustine, 32, has been fighting for his life since May 2018 after doctors say he was beaten with a baseball bat while walking home from work in New York, US.
He was left paralysed as the left side of his skull was removed after being shattered during the robbery, The Sun reports.
Steven needs to undergo further surgery, so specialists can create a special plastic skull to protect his brain.
The dad-of-two is now suffering from sunken brain syndrome - a rare complication after a large craniectomy to remove part of his skull - which makes Steven look as though he's missing half of his head.
His heartbroken mum Donna, 56, who has been at his side throughout his horrendous ordeal, says his condition is continuing to deteriorate.
Donna says their family are outraged that Steven's attacker, Charles Miles, received a misdemeanour charge and served just 72 days of his 365-day sentence at Ulster County Jail.
Doctors say that Steven's severe injuries are consistent with blunt force trauma - being battered with a baseball bat.
Yet lawyers claim Miles - who pleaded guilty to assault - punched Steven just once, and his brain injury was sustained by falling backwards on to the ground.
Ulster County District lawyer Holley Carnright told ABC 7 News that since Miles did not intend to cause serious physical harm, his office could not bring felony assault charges against him.
Donna disputes that stance, saying: "The damage that has been done could not have happened after one punch.
"The left side of his head shattered along with multiple skull fractures throughout his head and face, and he has had bleeding on the brain.
"Charles Miles was given a light sentence and I want justice for my son who is fighting every single day for his life.
"Steven was a happy, fun-loving guy who loved his job as a chef - he would work 12-hour shifts and was still smiling at the end.
"He loves his children and family more than anything in the world and to see him now, severely brain damaged, is devastating.
"I am heartbroken - my son is in a vegetated state."
BOYS 'MISS THEIR DADDY'
Adding to the trauma is the fact that specialists have attempted to replace the missing bone with a steel plate, but it became infected twice.
Steven has been suffering severe seizures, and medication to prevent them is damaging his liver.
Donna added: "My boy is fighting every day; he wakes up every time I walk in the room and he can blink to say 'yes' and 'no'.
"He cries every time he sees his sons Michael, seven and Steven Junior, 11 - they cry too because they miss their daddy so much."
One bit of good news for the distraught family is that a New York government agency that helps victims of crime has now agreed to fund his treatment.
His mum added: "The surgery could save his life; it will equal out the fluid around his brain and protect it - a slight bump to the area could be life-threatening as it's just skin protecting his brain.
"They will use a special plastic plate as the steel ones do not seem to agree with him; I pray it works."
However, relatives and friends are still fundraising via GoFundMe for his medical care and to make Donna's home accessible to Steven, once he's eventually discharged from hospital.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission