Hit-and-run victim Ryan Phillips to have facial surgery

Invercargill hit and run victim Ryan Phillips, 19, is in Dunedin Hospital. He was found on Marama Avenue South, Otatara, early on September 25.

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Invercargill hit and run victim Ryan Phillips, 19, is in Dunedin Hospital. He was found on Marama Avenue South, Otatara, early on September 25.

Invercargill hit-and-run victim Ryan Phillips will have facial surgery later this week and may be transferred to his home town’s hospital soon after, his father says.

Ryan suffered multiple broken bones, torn spleen and kidney and punctured lungs after being struck by a car on a residential Otatara street while walking home from an Invercargill bar early on September 25.

His family initially feared for his life as brain injuries were also suspected, but his father has since described him as a modern day Superman due to his recovery so far.

He was talking to his family from his Dunedin Hospital bed over the weekend, though it appeared he could not remember the accident at this stage.

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However, a quip to his brother suggested his sense of humour was still intact, his father said.

Nathan Phillips said his son had a lot of breaks in his face, including around his eye sockets.

“There’s quite a bit of facial damage. Possibly surgery will be Thursday and when he recovers he will be taken to Invercargill [Southland Hospital].”

Ryan would have surgery on his pelvis and wrist at Southland Hospital and do his rehab there, his father said.

He understood Ryan, 19, had four breaks in his pelvis and said his wrist was “smashed”.

Though doctors had been amazed by his recovery so far it was too early to say he was out of the woods given the extensive facial surgery he was facing, his father said. He understood the facial surgery could take all day to complete.

Phillips said the family had been unable to keep up with all the messages of support and offers of help, and they were humbled by it.

“There’s some really good people out there and they do genuinely care.”

Four days after the hit-and-run, police announced a man had come forward and was helping with enquiries. On Monday, a police spokesperson said investigations were ongoing and no-one had been charged at this stage.

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