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'All this damage, from just one punch,' the heartbreaking letter for James Macready-Bryan


'All this damage, from just one punch,' the heartbreaking letter for James Macready-Bryan

In October 2006, 20-year-old James Macready-Bryan was out celebrating his twentieth birthday in Melbourne when he found himself in an altercation.


He was punched, fell and hit his head.


Left permanently brain damaged and disabled, James now spends his life in a high-care centre, wheelchair bound, unable to move or talk.


In July last year, launched Real Heroes Walk Away, a campaign aimed at raising awareness that one punch can kill.


It prompted Megan McDermott to write a compelling piece about her "close friend", in an attempt to highlight the dangers of alcohol-fuelled street violence.


Just One Punch


"He looked like an ordinary kid with a smile too big for his boyish face. He had a head of unruly curls that bounced with every step. His laugh was contagious, his sense of humor outrageous. He loved a mischievous prank.


Donning the blue, black and gold he kneeled on the moist grass. His teammates bounded across the field to join him by his side. Posing for the camera, they wrapped their sweaty arms around one another. He loved a game of footy.


It was the night of his year eleven formal. He arrived at her doorstep looking sharp in his black suit and purple tie (with polka dots for effect).


His shoes were shiny and even his curls were tamed.


His best mate looked equally polished with his black hair sweetly groomed and a rose to lift his suit. The girls giggled with anticipation as the doorbell rang. 'Look at the boys! They look smart!'


The limo's waiting, they're just in time. The couples assembled in the driveway for the obligatory photo-shoot. Hundreds of snaps later they piled into the limo, waving their teary-eyed mums goodbye. He loved a good dance.

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