Assault leaves young man with life-changing injuries
STEVE Jones didn't plan on experiencing every parent's worst nightmare a fortnight ago.
In the early hours of a Saturday morning, one phone call changed everything.
Steve and Christine Jones were told by ambulance crews that their 22-year son Mitchell had been assaulted when he was walking home from the Central Lane Hotel in Gladstone.
After being treated at the Royal Brisbane Hospital for a shattered vertebra, today Mitchell is the slow but steady road to recovery.
The incident left his family distraught, confused and angry.
It also fuelled a desire to take action against street violence in Gladstone.
"Life isn't a video game," Mr Jones said.
"Kids consider themselves bullet-proof these days, but this is real life."
Mr Jones said Mitchell would have permanent injuries to his upper arm, which he believed will impact on his future job prospects.
"He has injuries that could affect him for the rest of his life - and for what?"
"When the girls (Mitchell's sisters) found out they were crying. They love him dearly.
"They were in hospital every day from early morning to night just to be with him."
Mitchell was initially taken to Rockhampton Base Hospital before being airlifted to the Royal Brisbane Hospital.
Steve believes this incident could have been avoided if people took responsibility for their actions on a night out.
"This is real life," he said. "There are real consequences to your actions."
AFTER a week-long ordeal in the Royal Brisbane Hospital, Mitchell Jones is recovering from him injuries.
After being attended to by Rockhampton Base Hospital staff, the 22-year old was flown to RBH where he had scans and surgery for a fractured vertebra.
The injuries will leave Mitchell with permanent damage to his upper arm, with his father Steve claiming he still can't bend his arm on a 90 degree angle.
In hospital after his operation Mitchell was fitted with a neck brace to aid healing.
During that time he found it hard to speak because surgeons had operated on his vertebra via the throat.
In his second day in hospital, Mitchell was able to speak, but was told he'd have to wear the brace for a number of weeks.
Mitchell is now at home on the Sunshine Coast and is relying on his family to aid his recovery.
The Jones family would like to thank emergency service and hospital staff for their assistance.
GLADSTONE police are still trying to identify two assailants in the October 21 attack on Mitchell Jones.
While Mitchell sustained a fractured vertebra and had to be flown to the Royal Brisbane Hospital, his mate, also 22, had bruising to his head, back and elbows and was taken to Gladstone Base Hospital.
Police said the two left the Central Lane Hotel about 1.30am and were walking towards Roseberry St when they were set upon by two unknown men.
The CIB had been looking into the incident for the past fortnight and was now reviewing CCTV footage from outside the hotel.
Police are calling for anyone with information, or who saw the attack, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Gladstone police station.