A BRAVE Scots teenager started a new job just a month after surviving a horrific assault which left him needing brain surgery.
Robert Stirling, from Glenrothes in Fife, was punched to the ground and kicked as he walked to meet friends during a night out.
The 19-year-old suffered from blood swelling inside his head, but was out of hospital after five days with medics telling him he was lucky to be alive.
The attack happened on 1 September last year, and he was in a new job at Amazon exactly one month afterwards.
The man who punched him was sentenced to a year in jail for the assault, but Robert says the sentence was not long enough.
He was taken to Victoria Hospital after the attack in Kirkcaldy, but later had to be rushed to Edinburgh’s Western General for emergency brain surgery after blood clotting was discovered.
The condition was so serious he had to be accompanied by a crash team of medics.
His mum, Amanda, faced an agonising five-hour wait as the surgery was carried out.
He said: “When I first got the job at Amazon people at Cameron Hospital were surprised.
“The attack happened in the early hours of 1 September and I started the job on 1 October, so it was one month.
“They were surprised due to the fact people don’t make that kind of recovery but I just wanted to get back on with stuff and move on with my life.
“I can’t change what happened. It’s done and it’s passed now. There’s no point worrying about things I can’t change, I want to concentrate on the future.”
Even after he was paid off from his temporary job at Amazon’s Dunfermline distribution centre earlier this month he quickly picked up another job at Quick Air, and air conditioning company in Livingston.
He still suffers from headaches and dizzy spells, but the nightmares he went through immediately after the attack have died down.
He now goes out less and says he thinks he was targeted because he was on his own.
He was punched by David Heggie as he walked to meet friends for a lift home from a night out and knocked unconscious, and another man kicked him in the head.
The 23-year-old admitted the attack at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court last week, and sheriff Grant McCulloch told him “you are no stranger to trouble.”
Robert said: “I’m not happy, I mean, he’s going to be out in six months time. It’s a twelve month sentence but he’ll be out in six
“The guy that kicked me in the head gets off because I was unconscious when he kicked so so its considered a minor offence.
“I feel really positive about my future though, before I was lazy but now I have a lot more focus.”
He added: “The only thing I remember of that night is about half an hour in the nightclub then waking up in Western.
“It was all so scary not knowing what had happened.I just don’t remember.”
Robert’s mum Amanda Kelly, a nurse, only found out about the attack when she turned on her iPhone and saw Facebook notifications.
She also received worried messages asking how he was. She said: “There was one asking how he was, and then another friend saying he’s fine, he’s just got a black eye and a broken tooth.
“But then there was another saying it’s got to be worse than that and he’s in hospital.”
“When I got there he was presenting drunk but clearly it was the brain injury. He couldn’t speak.”
She says Robert now had more “drive to do something with his life” after the attack.
She continued: “He’s showing massive determination to do something with his life.
“Before he was the typical teen who wanted to just go down the street with his mates or spend his weekends out, like any other 19 year old, but now he wants a career.
“He just wants to be out working. He’s also applied for college to do plumbing,that’s what he really wants.
“Seems like a sort of silver-lining to the attack.”