A 25-year-old Brit is fighting for his life after an attack in a bar in New Zealand – and officials have confirmed his family will be allowed to fly from the UK to be at his side.
Josh Storer has undergone two lifesaving operations, including one to remove part of his skull, after suffering serious injuries on Friday.
It happened at a bar in Auckland, and Josh was rushed to intensive care where he is being treated around the clock by medics.
His family had pleaded to be allowed into the country, which has strict rules in place to prevent the spread of Covid.
Parents Dawn and Ian and sister Sian, who have all been fully vaccinated, have been permitted to be at his bedside after border officials ruled they qualified for an exemption.
Ian told the NZ Herald : “We’re scared to death.”
He said that medics had told the family it is too early to say if he will survive, or if he will suffer life-changing damage as a result of the assault.
He continued: “You’re trying to deal with the fact that you might lose him and you might not be there and trying to get through all the red tape.”
Dawn told the newspaper: “I can’t begin to tell you how painful it is.”
They feared they could have to wait 24 days if they were allowed in, but officials have today confirmed they will be permitted to see their son without quarantining.
A border service spokesman said the family’s situation met the “high threshold” required to be granted a border exemption.
Preet Dhaliwal, publican of the bar where the assault happened, has set up a fundraising page to support Josh’s family.
He wrote: “I’m the publican and a good friend of the victim. A person who I would have a beer with at least 2 – 3 times a week.”
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help Josh’s family, and has raised more than £9,000.
The fundraiser states: “As some of you may have heard already, Josh Storer was involved in an accident yesterday in New Zealand that has left him in ICU with a significant brain injury.
“It is currently touch and go, as he is in a drug induced coma and will be for several days to monitor his condition and plan next steps.
“At this moment in time he is in a critical condition and we wanted to let his and our friends know of the situation.”
A 56-year-old man has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
He is due to appear in court tomorrow.