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Months of rehabilitation ahead for Karratha man after assault causes brain injury

The last thing that Corey Powles remembers is hearing voices outside his front door. He woke up days later in hospital with a serious brain injury.

The 37-year-old builder was attacked outside his home in Karratha, in Western Australia's Pilbara, two months ago.

The matter is currently before the courts.

"I was just out the back of my house, I'd had a mate over and was having a beer [when] early on in the night a young fella tried to walk in the gate," Mr Powles said.

"We told him there was nothing here for him and he apologised and walked away."

Later, Mr Powles heard voices out the front of his house.

"I heard kids out the front, so I walked out the front to investigate and that's all I really remember."

Major head fractures

Corey's wife Angela had gone to bed but woke a few hours later to attend to their two-year-old daughter, Lexi.

She noticed all the lights and music were on and started to worry when she could not find her husband.

She found him semiconscious 45 minutes later across the road in their neighbour's carport.

When he woke up in a Perth hospital, Mr Powles had post-trauma amnesia and could not remember anything.

"When I woke up in Perth I wondered why I was there," he said.

Mr Powles was in the hospital for 26 days with three major head fractures and multiple facial fractures.

"Basically every facial bone in his body has been fractured — forehead, nose, chin, eye socket, cheekbones, and he had fluid on his lung," Angela Powles said.

A slow recovery

The family is back home now with many more months of rehabilitation ahead.

"Corey had quite an extensive bleeding on the brain from the assault and that means some parts of his brain were starved of oxygen," Mrs Powles said.

"He gets headaches daily, his hearing is impaired on the left side, but overall he's very lucky. We still do have a long road ahead.

"Corey will have this diagnosis of severe brain injury for the rest of his life. He's had his driver's licence taken away from him for medical reasons and he's not allowed to return to the workplace."He can't do simple things like swim or run or ride a bike.

"Slowly over time, we can get him returning to the workplace in some capacity, being able to run or ride a bike. All the simple things that we all take for granted."

Mrs Powles said the support from the local community had been incredible with $49,000 raised in a Go Fund Me campaign to help with living and medical costs.

"I've had a lot of anxiety being back here, especially looking out at the driveway knowing that's where it happened," she said.

"Karratha is such a transient town that a lot of us up here don't have families, so to have the support of our community and help from people we didn't even know has been really overwhelming."

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