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The parents of Perth-based footballer Danny Hodgson have revealed their son has opened his eyes but remains in a critical condition after a violent assault left him in a coma.
Hodgson, who plays for ECU Joondalup in the National Premier Leagues Western Australia, is in Royal Perth Hospital after being assaulted earlier this month.
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The England-born striker had been celebrating the end of his season with teammates when he was allegedly struck from behind in an unprovoked attack while walking into a Perth train station.
A 15-year-old boy has since been charged with one count of grievous bodily harm, with police alleging the attack was unprovoked and that the boy fled the scene without rendering assistance.
Hodgson's parents, who managed to fly to Perth from the UK to be by their son's bedside, released a statement on Wednesday thanking the team at the Royal Perth Hospital.
Today is Danny Hodgson’s 26th birthday.
Danny is still in ICU at Royal Perth Hospital after a coward’s punch in the heart our city.
We are all behind him.
Danny’s parents have just released this statement on their boy’s birthday. @6PR #perth pic.twitter.com/GWxqNizxvb
— Mark Gibson (@markgibbo) September 19, 2021
However they warned that Hodgson's future is still very uncertain despite him opening his eyes in recent days.
“While we are grateful to see some small improvement in Danny’s condition, the future is uncertain and we must keep travelling this journey day by day, sometimes hour by hour,” the statement read.
“Danny is experiencing breathing difficulties and an infection and blood clots remain a constant threat.
“As a family with Danny’s girlfriend, Jess, it is very important we remain grounded and realistic about his condition and the future.
“We are eternally grateful for the expert medical care and support from the team at the Royal Perth Hospital ICU.
“Please keep Danny in your prayers, Western Australia.
“He will need every ounce of strength and iron will to keep fighting over the next few days.”
Football community rallies around Danny Hodgson
Hodgson's parents were initially unable to get to Australia, sending out messages for help on social media.
And in an uplifting twist, the efforts of the football community managed to secure then two tickets on a flight to Perth.
“It’s incredible that in 24 hours we have been able to achieve the impossible,” Hodgson's mother Nicola wrote on Facebook.
“I cannot thank everyone enough who has been involved. Our prayers have been answered and we have confirmed flights to Australia.
“Danny still has a long journey ahead of him but the fact that me and (father) Peter will be by his side through it gives us enormous comfort.”
The football communities around Australia and the rest of the world have rallied around Hodgson and his family.
Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo sent a video message to Hodgson for his 26th birthday last week.
“Hi Danny, I just heard about your story,” Ronaldo said.
“I hope you get well soon. I invite you to come to one of our games in Manchester.
“So, get well soon my friend, take care.”
Cristiano Ronaldo's heartfelt message to english footballer Danny Hodgson fighting for his life:
“Hi Danny, I just hear about your history, I hope you get well soon,
“I invite you to come to one of [our] games in Manchester, so get well soon my friend. Take care.”❤️👏 pic.twitter.com/XFlqrfZrsY
— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) September 20, 2021
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