A dad-of-four is in a coma after being stabbed in a popular resort in Portugal while on a stag do.
Joel Collins, from Troedyrhiw, near Merthyr Tydfil, is the second Welsh victim of a stabbing in the coastal city of Albufeira in the southern Algarve region in 2022.
The 35-year-old was allegedly stabbed without provocation while walking home on July 4 after getting separated from his friends on a night out.
He was taken to hospital in Faro by a member of the public who came across Joel unconscious in the street with four deep wounds in his abdomen. Joel had suffered lacerations to his pancreas, lungs, intestines and stomach and is in intensive care after five separate operations.
Joel’s sister, Heidi Collins, said her brother had limited memory of what had happened to him three weeks ago, but nurses said it looked like Joel had been mugged, as he arrived at the hospital without his phone or any ID. His last memory was of getting separated from his group and getting his phone out to use Google maps to find a route back to his hotel.
He was left with deep stab wounds and has since been placed in intensive care following multiple surgeries. He is due to have another operation on Monday, July 25.
Joel's parents and his partner, Gabriella, are at his bedside regularly and Heidi has been out to see her brother too.
"We're just taking it day by day now,” Heidi said. "Doctors have told mum and dad he was handed in to the hospital by ambulance.”
Joel's family are still unsure whether the incident has been reported to the Portuguese police or not. They said someone from the police spoke to him when he arrived at hospital but they'd been asked later by nurses whether Joel had reported it.
"People need to be extra vigilant when they are in the resort," said Heidi. "It seems like the police aren't doing anything about it. These crimes are going on and nobody is aware of it."
The UK Embassy in Portugal and the Portuguese GNR have been contacted for comment.