DOWNPATRICK man Barry Fitzsimmons (21) is recovering in The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, after being stabbed in the chest three times at a house party in the Balaclava area of the city. Barry had been out in Australia for a year on a working break and had met up during his stay with some of his local friends from around Downpatrick.
After the attack, Barry was unconscious and on a ventilator machine in a critical condition but has made a remarkable recovery. He is now speaking and has managed to sit up, although he is still groggy and feeling the effects of his treatment. He received three life-threatening puncture wounds to the chest and after emergency treatment where he received 20 units of blood, he had part of a lung removed.
Melbourne police reported to Down News that a man (26) had been charged with the alleged stabbing. The man, Andrew Ross (26) living in the Richmond area of Melbourne, is believed to be from Dublin and has been charged with one count of intentionally causing serious harm.
A Melbourne police spokesperson said, “He is to front the Melbourne Magistrates Court today (Monday 24th January).”
The parents of Barry Fitzsimmons, Kevin and Bernadette, are expected to arrive in Australia this evening at 10pm GMT to be at their son’s bedside. Barry’s aunt Karen Branigan said, “The family who were deeply shocked at the news of the stabbing are now very relieved that he has pulled through safely.
“Barry is now off the ventilator and is able to talk. He is still very tired and sore, but he’ll pull through OK. It is such a relief to know he is on the mend.” Karen’s son Jarlath, a friend of Barry’s, was by his side throughout the ordeal.