Mitcham stab victim makes astonishing recovery and finds his feet with an apprenticeship

Back in work: Luke Stapleton

Back in work: Luke Stapleton

First published in Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Wimbledon

A 25-year-old father twice declared dead after being stabbed with a carving knife has made a full recovery and is set to enter the world of work.

Luke Stapleton, from Mitcham Eastfields, was attacked on Grove Road on November 27, 2011, at around 6pm on his way to a fast food joint.

He was stabbed in the liver with a ten-inch carving knife, leaving a wound of about four inches wide and ten inches long.

Mr Stapleton spent six days in intensive care, was declared dead twice, lost six and a half pints of blood and was guarded by armed police who feared a repeat attack.

A former handyman, Mr Stapleton struggled to get work after the attack and was unemployed for nearly two years.

Then, six months ago, he was offered a lifeline by Kick Start, a six-week training scheme in construction run by Keepmoat Property Services and Circle Housing.

Mr Stapleton said: "I had an altercation with a fella. It started out as a fist fight and all of a sudden he pulled a carving knife on me.

"In theatre for about four or five hours after I recovered I thought I was dead and everyone had to keep saying I was alive.

"My mum was there and I said, am I in hell? I had been estranged from her for years."

A man was arrested following the attack but was released due to lack of evidence.

It took over a year for him to recover mentally and physically.

The opportunity to be an apprentice in construction work, came just before his son, Sonny Lucas, was born.

Mr Stapleton said: "It feels good to be useful again and put my skills and knowledge to good use. I feel proud of what I have achieved through this programme and I want to be a role model for my son."

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