Taxi driver loses quarter of his skull after being attacked by thugs during his shift

A taxi driver has lost a quarter of his skull after he was severely beaten in what his wife has claimed a possible racially motivated attack in Derby.

Faisal Raja, 37, was put into coma and given just a 10% chance of living after suffering catastrophic brain injuries during the attack.

He had suffered two severe skull fractures, severe swelling and bleeding on the brain and had to have a quarter of his skull removed in four operations after being set upon by a gang of men when he stepped out of his car for a bite to eat.

He has remarkably regained motor function since the attack in November last year but his wife has said his personality has ‘definitely changed’ since.

 

Now back at home with his wife and children Mr Raja is expected to spend the next six months wearing a protective helmet as his brain because his brain is covered with only a thin later of skin.

His wife, Mrs Raja said: ‘They’re animals, they left him to die.

‘I thought he wouldn’t make it, I thought I was going to be a single parent.

‘It was terrible, I can’t even find the words to describe how bad his injuries were – it was just horrific.

‘It was a miracle that he survived. He was given just a 10 per cent chance of making it.

‘When we went in to see him, he was covered in wires and you could see how much his head had swollen. He was given a 10 per cent of surviving and was put on a life support machine.

‘All the hospital staff were shocked that he survived, they say how pleased they are he’s still here.’

She added: ‘He could have been targeted because of his race.’

Mr Raja had finished his night shift but planned to put in a couple of extra hours before returning home to his heavily pregnant wife.

Moments before that attack Mr Raja pulled up near a kebab shop and phoned his wife to make sure she was okay and to get a bite to eat, but when he returned to his car he was set upon by a group of men.

The thugs attacked Mr Raja from behind using knuckle dusters and a knife before leaving him for dead.

After the attack Mr Raja was rushed to hospital where he was placed into medically induced coma and put on a life support machine, where he stayed for the next six weeks.

Doctors were only able to assess Mr Raja’s injuries after he regained consciousness last month.

He was entered into intensive physiotherapy which has allowed him to regain some of his movement and most of his speech but still needs round-the-clock medical care and daily hospital appointments.

Mrs Raja said: ‘There are still glimmers of his old self, but his personality has changed definitely.

‘He lost a huge amount of muscle so he’s had a lot of intensive physio. He’s also relearned how to eat and swallow and talk.

‘If anything were to hit or touch that side of his skull, it could be fatal.

‘He has the hat on all the day, can’t have coffee or anything like that anymore.’

The couples neighbours have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise £30,000 to pay for the extra care and home adaptions Faisal will need.

A police spokeswoman said that eight people had been arrested, seven of whom had been released under investigation and one released on police bail. Their enquiries are ongoing.