A teenager left with extensive brain damage after a brutal attack in Kent is learning to walk again with the help of fundraiser run by a KentOnline sister paper.
German student Daniel Ezzedine was just 17 when he visited Canterbury on a post-exam trip in June 2019.
He arrived in the city a bright young teenager with a promising future but returned home permanently brain-damaged - his hopes and dreams snatched from him when he was subjected to a racially motivated gang attack in the city centre.
Heartbreaking testimony given in trials closely followed by KentOnline told how two years on from the attack, Daniel remained “100% disabled” - unable to speak or read and needing 24/7 care from his family.
His parents were riddled with debt and depression as they struggled to care for him, while his living conditions were such that he had to be wheeled around on an office chair, and needed someone to sleep beside him on his bedroom floor.
Deeply moved by the family’s plight, the Kentish Gazette launched a fundraising appeal in a bid to help them - raising a staggering £15,560 through the generosity of readers.
The appeal has now closed, and all funds have been passed to Daniel’s family.
His brother Samer Ezzedine has told of the impact the money has had.
To his family’s joy, Daniel is now able to walk a few steps.
“He is not allowed to walk without supervision because he has an increased risk of falling,” said Samer.
“But we are working towards Daniel hopefully being able to walk independently.
“The money we have received will help us to strengthen Daniel in this area.
“Especially now in winter, when we can’t do any exercises with Daniel outside.
“Thanks to your help we have the possibility to rent a small gym a few times a week, where Daniel can improve and strengthen his skills.”
Samer says the money donated by readers will also help repay debts his family took on to care for Daniel, and will help offer him rehabilitation therapies that are not covered by his health insurance.
“We thank all the people who have donated and all the people who think of Daniel and have not forgotten him,” he said.