A MAN who was beaten unconscious by a mugger has THANKED his unknown attacker – for unwittingly saving his life.
Chris Liggins was knocked to the ground from behind just outside his city home in April.
He regained consciousness five hours later to find his pockets empty of cash and his mobile phone stolen.
“I was very lucky to escape with minor injuries but the experience left me shaken,” he said.
Chris, 37, gave a statement to police but knew the chances of police catching his mugger, due to the lack of description, were very slim.
“I tried to forget all about it. But when I told my mum what had happened over Sunday lunch the following day, she was beside herself with worry and begged me to go to the hospital in case I was suffering from concussion.”
Chris obliged and after doctors performed a couple of CT scans, was told there was minor concussion but no fractures.
Days later though came a call from the hospital that was to save his life.
The doctors told him they had spotted something “unusual” on his brain scan and asked him to come back immediately for an urgent MRI scan.
Chris panicked, fearing he had a brain tumour that would leave his children Jonathon, six, and five-year-old Jane without a dad.
“Part of me was terrified I was going to die but the other part of me couldn’t quite believe there could be anything wrong with me as I’d had no symptoms whatsoever. No headaches, no dizziness, nothing.”
Within days he was told the result of the MRI. He had a cerebral aneurysm – a large, blood-filled bulge on his brain – just above his left eye.
“It had nothing to do with the mugging and is thought to have been there for up to nine years,” said Chris.
Although I had no symptoms, the aneurysm was two centimetres long and anything over seven millimetres can prove fatal.”
Chris was told the bulge could burst at any moment and he would be dead before he hit the ground.
The following week he underwent a five hour emergency operation where doctors inserted 13 platinum coils into his brain to stem the blood flow to the aneurysm to stop it growing and erupting.
Now, four months on, he has recovered fully.
“The most incredible thing is that if I hadn’t been mugged that day, my potentially life-threatening brain condition could never have been detected.
“The guy who mugged me may have stolen my possessions but at the same time, without even realising it, he probably saved my life.
“If I ever met him, I’d like to say thank you.
“It might seem an odd thing to say but, in my case, being mugged was the best thing that ever happened to me.
“Fate was definitely on my side that day.”