Supporters of a dad-of-two who was critically injured in a street attack have braved the freezing North Sea to raise money for his family.
Calvin McLellan, 30, is still in hospital after suffering a serious brain injury in August when he was attacked near a taxi rank in Mile End Road, South Shields.
The father to Scarlett, 10, and five-year-old Maisie-Sue, now faces having relearn basic skills as part of his recovery, which has included two operations on his brain.
Connor Jary, 18, of Moreland Road, South Shields, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm in November, and is due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court later this month.
A fundraising drive has been set up by well-wishers, to enable Calvin’s family to visit and care for him.
And on Saturday, around 20 people stripped off to take part in a sea dip to raise money for the cause.
It’s just amazing what they are doing – I just wish he could come and see it for himselfSusan Douglas, Calvin’s mum
Calvin’s mum, Susan Douglas, 58, said every penny is needed so the family can be there for him.
“It’s just amazing what they are doing,” she said. “I just wish he could come and see it for himself.”
His sister Mandy is a single mother-of-two living in Scotland, and is struggling to pay the travel costs to visit her brother in hospital.
“She’s been to see him a few times, but it is just so expensive,” Susan said.
The attack has taken it’s toll on the family, including Calvin’s two beloved daughters.
Susan said: “They aren’t coping very well, Scarlett in particular.
“Maisie-Sue is only five on Monday, so she is okay, but they haven’t seen him for six months.”
When asked how Calvin is doing now, she said: “We don’t know, he’s got to learn to walk and talk again.”
One of the organisers, Stacie Pentland, did not know the family before she learned about Calvin.
But Calvin’s mum has taken the 32-year-old from Washington under her wing and the pair are now very close.
Stacey, who took part in the dip herself, said: “There is no government funding, nothing for the family.
“He’s been in hospital for six months.
“I’d never met Sue before but I wanted to help because everybody is there to say ‘I’m sorry’, but there is nothing to help Sue be there for her son, that’s why everyone is getting involved.”
To support the fundraising effort, visit www.gofundme.com/calvin-mclellan-fund