Blackpool Dad nearly killed on his stag do beats the odds and prepares to walk down the aisle

A dad-of-thee who was nearly killed on his own stag do, is finally preparing to walk down the aisle.
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Lee Burns, 41, of Blackpool, was punched in the back of the head outside Boca Bar in Breck Road, Poulton in the early hours of Sunday, April 16, suffering a a fractured skull and two separate bleeds on the brain.

He underwent a three-hour operation on his skull and brain at the Royal Preston Hospital, before being placed into an induced coma for more than a week.

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In total, he spent more than a month fighting for his life in the Royal Preston Hospital and Blackpool Victoria Hospital, with his family not knowing whether he would ever walk or talk again.

Lee Burns, who was attacked in Poulton, with fiancee SaraLee Burns, who was attacked in Poulton, with fiancee Sara
Lee Burns, who was attacked in Poulton, with fiancee Sara

But now, after gruelling rehabilitation work and thanks to a “can do” attitude, Lee is set to marry his fiancee Sara next month.

“We were meant to get married in May, and I never thought we’d still be able to do it this year”, said the 38-year-old.

New names

The couple, who have been together for 10 years, will be combining their surnames to become Mr and Mrs Smith-Burns, in an intimate ceremony at the Imperial Hotel, followed by a big party afterwards.

Lee and Sara leaving RPH after skull replacement surgery in October 2023.Lee and Sara leaving RPH after skull replacement surgery in October 2023.
Lee and Sara leaving RPH after skull replacement surgery in October 2023.

Click here to read how hospital staff arranged a special ceremony for the couple

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Sara said: “It’s mixed emotions in the run-up to the wedding. We’re still struggling massively with Lee’s recovery, but just so happy to be getting married.

"It’s finally here and we’re going to do it.

"Getting married and then a New Year for us is a fresh start for us.”

Lee and Sara's promise rings (Credit: Sara Ann Smith)Lee and Sara's promise rings (Credit: Sara Ann Smith)
Lee and Sara's promise rings (Credit: Sara Ann Smith)

Skull replacement surgery

To be able to get to this point, last week Lee underwent surgery last week at the Royal Preston Hospital, where a titanium plate was fitted to replace part of his skull.

Sara said the operation brought back a lot of worry from the initial attack, but means less anxiety over his brain being unprotected.

She said: “I flinched every time he got up or moved.”

Lee had to undergo a life-saving operation after he was punched during his stag do in PoultonLee had to undergo a life-saving operation after he was punched during his stag do in Poulton
Lee had to undergo a life-saving operation after he was punched during his stag do in Poulton
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She added: “He’s still got a brain injury and still suffers massively, it’s a long road to recovery. And be might not be the same Lee again, but he’s alive, and that’s the main thing.”

Both Lee and Sara want to thank the neurology team at RPH and the staff on Ward 6 at Blackpool Victoria Hospital for their life-saving work.

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