In December 2011 Trevor Hall was lucky to survive a terrifying ordeal when he was woken by his son attacking him with an axe leaving him with permanent injuries to his foot and wounds on his hand, knee and hip.
Now 19 months later, the Molong resident is still waiting to find out how much financial assistance he will receive from NSW Victims Services, after changes to the scheme passed in May slashed his possible compensation.
He expected up to $47,000 but his solicitor now believes he will only be entitled to a $5000 recognition payment.
Mr Hall spent 13 weeks in hospital after the attack, but is still recovering.
He is now waiting for tendon transfer surgery and rehabilitation to his dropped foot that leaves him barely able to walk more than a few hundred metres and in constant discomfort as nerves regrow.
“Twenty-four hours a day I’ve got this sensation of stretching and pulling in the leg where the nerves are growing,” he said.
“I’ve been left with a permanent tingling sensation.”
Mr Hall amazed doctors when he was initially able to drive his manual car, despite his injured foot, but as his condition has worsened he is now unable to drive and had hoped to use the compensation to buy an automatic car to avoid the clutch pedal.
The snub has left him feeling “highly insulted” and frustrated knowing he isn’t the only person affected.
“There would be other people who have been victims of violent attacks previous to the new system coming in and they’re suffering as well,” he said.
“It should be changed back to the old system, if politicians can vote themselves a pay rise ... why should they be taking away from victim compensation?
“We don’t choose to be victims ... it’s very traumatic.”
He hopes to be eligible for $5000 to cover economic losses, but fears $900 he spent replacing blood-stained carpet in the rented home he was living in at the time will be deducted.
Mr Hall applied for compensation as soon as he left hospital in early 2012, but so far has only received fortnightly counselling sessions and legal assistance to help apply for compensation.
Fortunately his many medical bills, hospital stays and neurologist appointments have been mostly covered by Medicare, but he is still waiting to see if victims’ compensation will cover the gap.
“They’re not paying [medical bills] until such time as they decide if they are paying me compensation,” he said.
Although he says his emotional wellbeing is not too bad after the attack, he often relives the trauma and has flashbacks every night waking bolt upright in the early hours at a similar time to the fateful night.
While working as a disability carer last year he found himself automatically jumping back from any clients who were aggressive as a reflex left over from the attack.
Counselling has helped but with only two sessions left he will soon be left to his own devices.
Mr Hall’s son is now in the Long Bay psychiatric hospital.
“I’ve lost my son,” he said.
“His mother sees him on a regular basis ... you’ve got to forgive and move on.”