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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Stabbed Carlisle dad ‘died’ twice on operating table

A young dad left critically injured when he was stabbed at a New Year’s party “died” twice as surgeons battled to save his life.

Stabbed man Joe Malloy photo
Joe Malloy with partner Amyjane Sanderson and daughter Millie

Doctors gave 23-year-old Joe Malloy a dismal five per cent chance of survival as they prepared for surgery to stem his massive internal bleeding.

Incredibly, the former nightclub doorman defied the odds and is now expected to make a full recovery.

As the police investigation into the stabbing continued, Joe and his fiance Amyjane Sanderson, 25, today spoke publicly of their ordeal for the first time.

Though still traumatised, the couple wanted to thank the medics who saved Joe’s life and to appeal for anybody who can help bring the attacker to justice to contact the police.

Their lives were turned upside down at 4am on New Year’s Day when Joe suffered a vicious stab wound while at the party in a house on Carlisle’s Raffles estate.

Amyjane arrived at the scene, on Raffles Avenue, to find him sprawled on the floor, gasping for breath.

“At first I wondered if he was drunk, but there were two people kneeling next to him and somebody said he’d been stabbed,” she said.

“I instantly knelt down beside him and grabbed hold of his hand, and started talking to him but he wasn’t responding. He was hot and sweaty.”

An ambulance arrived within minutes and in the hours that followed staff at the Cumberland Infirmary tried to stabilise Joe, who had become a father just five months earlier with the arrival of his and Amyjane’s daughter Millie.

He was already a doting stepdad to his fiancee’s seven-year-old daughter Hope.

Amyjane said: “At first, they didn’t think it was too serious and that he’d be out in a couple of hours. Then they realised he was bleeding inside and they started giving him transfusions.”

Medics had discovered that the knife used on Joe had sliced into his heart’s main artery and into his liver.

Rushed to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, his life would depend on the complex surgery he needed to repair that damage.

“They were operating on him for five hours,” recalled Amyjane, who stayed at the hospital with Joe’s worried parents, his mum Julie Robinson, 45, and stepdad Andrew, 42.

“After the operation, it was very touch-and-go. They said Joe had a five per cent chance of surviving and all we could do was hope and pray.

“Joe was really ill. Thinking about it now gives me goosebumps. It was horrible.

“I felt like my heart had been ripped out.

“They’ve told me Joe lost so much blood during those first few days that he emptied the hospital’s blood bank. They had to fill him up eight times. They pumped in 28 litres during those transfusions.”

Gradually, over the following days and weeks, the bleeding stopped and Joe began slowly to gain in strength.

One of the turning points came when Joe opened his eyes to see his 19-year-old brother Mark by his bedside.

Affected by strong medication, he had dreamed his brother had died in a motorbike crash and he was to blame.

The relief of seeing Mark was alive was so huge that tears welled in Joe’s eyes.

“It was from that day that Joe started to really come out of it,” said Amyjane.

She and Joe seem convinced that his plight was helped also by the prayers said for him at the Carlisle Nazarene Church in Belle Vue, where Amyjane’s grandmother Norline Moorhead is a worshipper.

Joe was finally well enough to come home from hospital on January 27.

He will bear the physical scars of what happened to him – including his foot long operation scar – for the rest of his life. What you cannot so easily see are the psychological scars – made worse by the knowledge that the person who stabbed him is still out there.

As he cuddled his baby daughter, Joe said: “I’m just so grateful to be here.

“I can’t thank the medical staff enough – particularly the surgeon Professor Derek Manas who operated on me.

“Because of him and his team, I’m here now and able to be with my family.

“They’ve always been what really matters to me and Amyjane is my best mate. I died twice on that operating table but they brought me back and I see things differently now. I know what’s important.”

Wincing with pain as he reached out to Millie, Joe said he is haunted by his brush with death; and troubled by the knowledge that his attacker has not been caught.

“I still get flash backs,” he said. “The doctors have said that hopefully I should make a full recovery but it’s going to take time. I have mixed emotions. We didn’t tell Hope what happened; we’ve just told her I’ve been poorly.

“What bothers me most is that because of my injury I can’t hold my daughter.”

Amyjane added: “Joe’s priorities have always been in the right place but he’s a lot more thankful now. I feel that him still being here is a prayer answered.

“So many people were praying for him and he refused to die. We’ve known each other since we were kids and planned to get married this December, but that will be delayed now.

“But I do want to urge anybody who knows anything about what happened to Joe – however insignificant it might seem – to contact the police.”

“Any person who can do what was done to Joe, or to any human being, should not be walking the streets.”

After the stabbing, police arrested seven people on suspicion of attempted murder.

Two of those originally arrested – a 53-year-old and a 34-year-old – have had their police bail cancelled. The other five have had their police bail extended until the end of March. Police have repeatedly appealed for witnesses or anybody with relevant information to get in touch.

Call Cumbria police on 101 and ask for the Carlisle incident room.

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