The family of an Australian surfing teacher who suffered major head injuries when he was punched in Bali hope he will be able to speak and swallow soon.
Matt Scarff, 41, was allegedly punched by a stranger outside the Townhouse Club in Seminyak on November 15 while going to the aid of a woman in danger.
A Facebook page was set up by family members to raise money for Mr Scarff’s travel expenses and rehabilitation.
After two operations, Mr Scarff awoke from an induced coma at Royal Perth Hospital almost two weeks ago and smiled, winked and nodded at his family.
Tony Maguire, who runs the Facebook page, posted on Sunday morning that his cousin was continuing to progress slowly after a small setback with another bout of pneumonia.
“He is comprehending conversations and is mouthing words and writing things down,” Mr Maguire said.
“Hopefully his tracheostomy tube and feeding tube will be removed soon, allowing him to talk and swallow.
“Yesterday we were allowed to wheel him outside for a few minutes of sunshine and fresh air, which he enjoyed.”
Mr Maguire said Mr Scarff’s progress was encouraging but he had a long road ahead.
Mr Scarff runs Bali Learn to Surf – a surf school that mainly teaches Southeast Asians, including orphans, and includes surf trips to Java and up the Southeast Asian coast.