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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 June, 2004, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
'He kept kicking me in the face'
Piccadilly Circus
Stefan was on night out in central London when he was attacked
As a specialist facial surgery research centre opens in London, BBC News Online talks to Stefan Shaw - a student who needed surgery to save his sight after a drunken assault.

Stefan also suffered a brain haemorrhage after the attack on his way home from a night out in London.

He revealed his story at the launch of the research centre.

One of the centre's first projects will use a hard-hitting video to warn young people of the link between binge drinking and serious facial injuries.

Stefan, 20, who is studying architecture at Manchester University said: "Two months ago I was on a night out with friends.

"On the way home, we were approached by a group of lads who seemed as though they had been out drinking.

People are always going to drink to excess
Stefan Shaw
"As we got near them, they surrounded us. They asked us if we were the lads they'd had trouble with earlier.

"We said no, because we'd never seen them before.

"Then the last thing I remember is one of them feeling my back pocket.

"And as I turned around, what I've been told is that one of them hit me from behind and I fell to the floor, cracked my head on the concrete pavement.

"Then the one who punched me continued to kick me in the face as I was unconscious."

'Right direction'

He added: "This attack has had a huge impact on my life.

"I was sent to hospital and scans confirmed I had a brain haemorrhage, and an orbital blow-out, which was inside my eye which meant that I had to undergo surgery.

"I basically had to have a 'trampoline' fitted under my eyeball to keep it up.

"It meant I couldn't go back to Manchester to finalise the year and finish it off which meant that I lost a good part of the year.

"Now I get double vision, which isn't great - especially when you're studying architecture.

"I also have to keep returning to the hospital for check-ups.

"But it hasn't really affected my attitude to going out. I grew up in London, where things like that do happen."

He said he hoped the video's message would have an impact.

"It's hard because people are always going to drink to excess.

"But we're all out to have a good time, and there's no need to take it too far.

"I hope this video has a positive impact. I don't think that in any way, it's going to scare people away from doing the wrong thing.

"It can only point them in the right direction."

Face surgery research unit opens
09 Jun 04  |  Health
Oral sex linked to mouth cancer
26 Feb 04  |  Health

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