EDMONTON – Four months after he was brutally attacked in his own yard, an elderly Edmonton man says he hasn’t fully recovered and feels like he’s lost some of his independence.
“I used to cut the lawn, I used to water the flowers for my wife… And I’d go down to the mall to see the doctor, I picked up my own prescription from the drug store. And now, I don’t,” said Mike Madarash. “I feel rotten.”
The 86-year-old was doing yard work at his Beacon Heights home on July 9 when he was beaten with what police called a ‘blunt object’ and robbed of nearly $200.
“Two guys walked in (to the yard) and I thought he was a meter man,” Madarash explained Thursday. “He was going straight for the kitchen and I said ‘where are you going?’ (he said) ‘I came here for a smoke… empty your pockets.’ I said ‘What do you mean? I’ve got nothing in my pockets.’ And that’s the time he hit me, hit me in the face.
“When I fell down, I went with my head down and he kept on hitting me. I felt those pounds ‘boom, boom.’ I didn’t count them, but it was hitting me. I think one more hit and it would have been finished for me,” Madarash recalled. “I sat down and I felt the blood coming out of me. It was just draining, I guess, from my head… And I said ‘please help me.'”
His neighbour heard the commotion and called 9-1-1. Madarash was taken to hospital where he spent the next two and a half months recovering from his injuries, which included a broken nose and several head wounds.
Now he says he suffers from dizzy spells, and his vision isn’t as good as it was before the attack.
“I feel dizzy. It’s hard to explain, it’s inside the skull and I’ve got sharp pains in there,” he explained. “If I stand up like this, I lose my balance… A lot of times I fall and I’m lucky I’ve got a bed, I fall on the bed.”
Madarash says he feels fearful a lot of the time and has nightmares about that July day.
“I’m scared, I’m frightened every day. When I was in the hospital I told the nurse not to put the curtains around me because I always thought somebody was behind the curtain,” he explained. “I had dreams that it was going to happen… but I’d wake up and I can’t fall asleep.”
One day after the assault, the Edmonton Police Service charged 18-year-old David Williams and a 17-year-old, who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, with numerous offences including robbery, aggravated assault, and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public.
Madarash says he plans on attending the teens’ court appearances, and hopes they get more than a “slap in the hands.”
“I feel depressed, I feel bad. I don’t know, I’d like to see the end of it.”
With files from Laurel Gregory, Global News.