89-year-old machete attack victim continues to recover in Vancouver Island hospital

Bob Plumb likely to lose sight in his left eye after assault in Courtenay

Eighty-nine-year-old Bob Plumb will likely lose sight in his left eye after a vicious, unprovoked attack in downtown Courtenay July 31 by an assailant with a machete.

His granddaughter, Janelle Karatsikis, said Bob is handling everything as well as can be expected, and continues to recover in hospital.

“Considering everything that has happened, he is in pretty good spirits,” she told Black Press. “He has already had two surgeries, but he is still able to laugh and joke with us, even despite the fact that he is probably not going to have vision in that left eye again.”

RELATED: 89-year-old man attacked with machete in downtown Courtenay

Bob was transferred from Courtenay to Campbell River for his latest surgical procedure (plastic surgery), performed Thursday night. He was transferred back to Courtenay Friday.

“It sounds like that went OK but we don’t know,” said Karatsikis. “He still can’t open his eye at this time, so we don’t know what the prognosis is. But they said slim to none, that he will regain vision.”

Karatsikis said he is likely to need more surgeries, and added the concern after Bob is discharged will be his own independence.

Bob Plumb, resting in hospital after one of the numerous surgeries to repair damages to his face as a result of a vicious assault in downtown Courtenay Wednesday morning. Photo by Janelle Karatsikis

“The biggest thing is his driving; we aren’t sure where that will go,” she said. “We obviously don’t know whether he will be able to drive and that would take away his independence completely. The day before this happened, he drove to Qualicum [from Courtenay] to visit us while we were camping. He goes to Tim Hortons every day. He goes to Sieffert’s Farm. To be able to do that at 89, there are a lot of 89-year-olds who can’t function in their daily living, let alone delivering papers and driving from Courtenay to Qualicum.

“If he can’t drive, his independence will be hugely affected.”

Bob was attacked at 4:15 a.m. Wednesday in downtown Courtenay, while waiting for the drop-off of a newspaper bundle. It was a routine he performed every day, delivering a daily publication to the various Comox Valley businesses.

“That job was not for money at all – it was actually my grandma, who used to deliver papers for as long as I can remember. They met about 17 years ago and he just did them with her. She never drove, but he had a licence so they were able to do some things together in the car. Then when my grandma became ill, my Auntie Dianne took over the route, and Bob just continued to help. It was something he just enjoyed doing. He was up at that time of day, anyway. It was just some independence, and socialization for him, and to help my aunt out.”

Karatsikis said the crowdfunding campaign has been overwhelming. A gofundme page has been set up at https://bit.ly/2YnrkiH (Bobs Recovery). As of Friday morning, nearly $25,000 in donations had been collected.

“It’s just amazing to see the [generosity of the Comox Valley],” said Karatsikis. “After such an inhumane act occurs, you start to doubt things and doubt people. Bob would give the shirt off his back for any person, and when you see the community rally behind him, it just brings back faith in humanity. We appreciate everything.”

RELATED: Crowdfunding campaign started for victim of machete attack

Karatsikis said while Bob’s recovery is ongoing, there is still concern regarding his well-being.

“Obviously, each surgery that he has is putting him more at risk. Being 89 and going under general anesthetic, there is always significant risk. We are hopeful that he can stay healthy and not get pneumonia, not suffer any complications. So far he has done amazing, So our hope is to get him back home and care for him there.”



terry.farrell@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Princeton – a Prince Town in waiting?

The Town of Princeton has been waiting 160 years for a Royal… Continue reading

RCMP release photos of man wanted in Princeton armed robbery

RCMP have released photos and a description of the man suspected of… Continue reading

Princeton gas station attendant robbed at gun point

A man wielding a hand gun robbed the Princeton Husky on Highway… Continue reading

Motorists face significant fines for handheld device use

Roughly one-quarter of vehicle collisions in British Columbia are attributed to distracted driving

COLUMN: Considering medically assisted dying

The federal government has undertaken to review of the current legislation

Older Canadians highlighted in Kelowna film project to fight ageism

The project is part of a campaign to combat ageism

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Group builds shelters for Vernon’s stray cats

Twenty insulated cat shelters were constructed by volunteers and delivered around town

UBCO partners with Boeing to test new anti-ice coating technology

The coating could one day be applied to all airplanes to prevent ice buildup

Revelstoke already double last year’s snowfall

The city is just below halfway to the snowiest winter on record

True Stories: Okanagan memoir-writers, reading

Reading with local North Okanagan writers Art Dalton, Patti Shales Lefkos, Raven Dahl, Janelle Hardy

Kelowna’s last video store, Leo’s Videos, to remain open despite failed sale

Kelowna’s last video rental store will remain open and under its namesake’s ownership

COLUMN: Choosing a face to show the world

It will not be easy to select the face to display on Canada’s new $5 bill

Most Read