herald

Saturday 25 November 2017

Model Tia's shock as brother's skull fractured in attack

Restaurant manager Derek Duffy
Restaurant manager Derek Duffy

Dublin model Tia Duffy has revealed that her brother is lucky to be alive after being the victim of an unprovoked one-punch assault in Australia.

Tia (29), from Finglas, said she received a call from friends of her brother Derek (26) to say he had been rushed to hospital with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

The incident happened in the early hours of last Tuesday when he was out having a meal with friends.

Celebrating

"He's been living in Darwin for the last three years and he was out with friends. They were celebrating finding a new apartment," said Tia.

"Someone just randomly attacked him from behind. They punched him in the head and he fell and hit his head on the pavement. That's the last thing he remembers."

Tia, who is based in Toronto, said the attacker's companion also assaulted two of Derek's female friends before fleeing.

Police in Darwin are investigating what she said was a "completely unprovoked attack" on her brother, who is a restaurant manager.

"He would never be in any kind of argument. He's not that type of guy at all. I'm just trying to understand why someone would do this," said Tia.

"I'm just livid about the whole thing. Every time I think about it, I just think, 'How can someone do that?'

"I wanted to raise awareness that if you throw just one punch at someone you can kill them. I feel like he's lucky to be alive. I'm just shell-shocked by the whole thing."

Derek spent a week in intensive care being monitored every hour but has now been moved to a separate unit. He still has bleeding on the brain.

Tia said they will not know the long-term impact of his injuries for a while, but she hopes to fly to Australia with her family once his condition stabilises.

Derek's friends Lauren and Lisa have set up a fundraising page to help pay his medical bills.

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/derek-duffy

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