Dad in coma from being punched on his Grand National stag do hours after telling fiancée he ‘couldn’t wait to marry her’ | The Sun
A MAN is fighting for his life after being punched "by a stranger" on his stag do – just hours after telling his fiancée: "This has been one of the best days of my life."
Lee Burns, from Blackpool, was hit outside a bar in Poulton-le-Fylde during the early hours of Sunday morning after watching the Grand National at Aintree.
He is believed to have then hit his head on the pavement.
Medics at Royal Preston Hospital put the 41-year-old into a coma as scans showed his brain was swelling as he suffered a haemorrhage.
The dad-of-three underwent surgery to remove a section of his skull near his forehead to stem two bleeds and prevent further damage – before he was then put on a life support machine.
The long-haul lorry driver's wedding – scheduled for May 13 – has now been called off.
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His pal Paul Stathum, 46, has urged people to think twice before hitting anyone.
He also described how Lee contacted wife-to-be Sara Ann Smith, 37, earlier in the day to tell her he "can't wait to marry her" and that his stag do had been "one of the best days of his life".
Lancashire police confirmed a 33-year-old man from Blackpool has been arrested on suspicion of wounding and has been released on bail pending further enquiries.
Mr Lathum, from Lytham St Anne's in Lancashire, said: "You can't go round doing stuff like that. One punch is all it takes and now my friend's life is pretty much ruined.
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"He'd had the time of his life that day. He'd told Sara earlier that day that it had been one of the best days of his life and that he couldn't wait to marry her.
"He's 6ft 2in so his skull took the whole impact. That was the first thing that hit the pavement and that's what caused the haemorrhaging.
"I'm used to reading about this stuff and feeling sick and now it's on our doorstep. It just takes that one punch to change two families' lives.
"He's still fighting for his life. He loves his job and he'll never be able to drive a truck again if he survives.
"I hope people educate their teenage kids to think twice before ever – if sharing this saves one life and stops one man from throwing a punch then it's worked."
Mr Burns lives with fiancée Sara and their children Tia Burns, 16, five-year-old Freddie Smith-Burns and Scott Smith, 18.
Scott was on the stag do and inside a kebab shop when the incident happened.
Lee was assessed at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning and after a CT scan he was blue-lighted to Royal Preston Hospital.
His fiancée wrote on Facebook: "As a family we are truly devastated and heartbroken, I'm trying to be strong for our three beautiful children, as well as for lee, but it's tough.
"I'm spending my days at Lee's bedside, jumping every time his machine beeps. It's one of the scariest times of my life and is not one I would wish on anyone, which is why I asked Paul to make the post.
"Our wedding may be postponed but I will marry I am certain of that."
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Paul's post raising awareness of Lee's situation has been shared more than 40,000 times and his GoFundMe has already raised more than £5,000.
Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/helping-lee-and-sara.
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