One-punch dad returns from the dead: 'I’m here for a reason'
A ONE-PUNCH victim has miraculously woken up two days after his life support was switched off following a random attack outside a fish and chip shop.
Father-of-three Beau Shortis fell into a coma after he was "coward punched" on a Melbourne street in November last year outside his best friend's engagement party.
When Mr Shortis, who suffered serious head injuries, still hadn't woken up after 26 days in intensive care, doctors at The Alfred hospital said there was nothing more that could be done.
"It is not very positive," his sister Donna Griffiths said at the time. "We're just praying for a miracle."
His family agreed to turn off his life support and the homicide squad was called in as his mother and sister began planning his funeral as relatives visited from interstate and overseas to say goodbye.
Ms Griffiths called for "justice" for her brother, warning the community: "Anyone out on the streets, think before you touch someone else - one punch can kill."
But two days after her sibling's life support was switched off, the family was granted its miracle. Mr Shortis woke up - and promptly burst into tears.
He had a shattered skull, brain damage, fractured vertebrae, loss of sight in one eye and amnesia, and medics said he wouldn't walk for six to nine months, 9News reported.
Eight weeks on, he is back with his family and undergoing rehabilitation. "I just thought I have got to get out of here, I've got to do whatever I can to get better to get out," he said.
"I was thinking of my kids. That is something I wouldn't want to wish upon anyone, to lose their father, especially at such a young age."
The "placid" and "carefree" warehouse worker was a Frankston hotel after the engagement party when some of his friends became involved in an altercation with some young men at about 12.30am.
Police stressed they did not believe Mr Shortis was involved in the fight, saying CCTV footage showed him standing away from the violence before approaching the group with his hands up, as if to show he was not a threat.
Homicide detective inspector Mick Hughes said Mr Shortis was clearly not an active participant in the disagreement and yet was "brutally" attacked.
Matthew Defreitas, 27, will appear at Frankston Magistrate's Court on April 5 charged with recklessly causing injury and two others could also be charged.
Police have released CCTV vision of three men they want to speak to who are believed to have witnessed the event.
Mr Shortis's mother Cheryle thanked doctors at The Alfred hospital, telling the Herald Sun: "I was praying and praying. Now I believe in miracles."
The warehouse worker, who remembers little about the night he was punched and has yet to return to work, said his incredible experience had given him a new perspective on life.
"It's made me think more about my family and my kids ... I want my kids to be happy and have good things to come home to," he said.
"All I know and all that matters to me is that I'm here.
"I'm here for a reason, I don't know what it is yet but it must be good - it just wasn't my time."
Anyone with information about the incident should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.