Bob Plumb, shown before requiring numerous surgeries to repair damages to his face as a result of a machete assault in downtown Courtenay earlier this summer. (Photo submitted)

Bob Plumb, shown before requiring numerous surgeries to repair damages to his face as a result of a machete assault in downtown Courtenay earlier this summer. (Photo submitted)

Island machete attack victim released from hospital

Bob Plumb released from hospital just prior to Christmas and is recovering at home

It’s been nearly six months since 89-year-old Bob Plumb was attacked with a machete in downtown Courtenay, but he still recalls the moment vividly as if it happened yesterday.

“I remember I was cut up so badly – I looked like Frankenstein’s monster,” he says softly with a slight sense of humour.

“They rushed me to Campbell River (hospital) for plastic surgery, and the surgeon made me look like Robert Redford. They did a wonderful job.”

In the early morning hours of July 31, 2019, Plumb was the victim of the unprovoked attack while waiting for the drop-off of a newspaper bundle. It was a routine he performed every day, delivering a daily publication to the various Comox Valley businesses.

RELATED: 89-year-old Courtenay machete attack victim continues to recover in hospital

He was approached by a man on a bicycle who asked him for a cigarette. Plumb told the man that he did not have any cigarettes before the man assaulted him with a machete.

Despite being unable to see out of his left eye and cuts on his hand and face, he drove himself to the Comox Valley RCMP detachment to report the attack.

He was immediately taken to hospital in Courtenay. Shortly afterward, he was transferred to the hospital in Campbell River for plastic surgery before returning to the hospital in Courtenay for months of recovery.

Plumb says the surgeries “went like clockwork” but his injuries and the recovery were initially difficult to process.

“It was a little hard to swallow. The loss of my eye and part of my hand was the hardest. I’ve lost the use of my right hand because the tendons were cut when I was hanging onto the sharp blade. Two fingers don’t bend and my thumb doesn’t bend – and I’m right-handed.”

Due to the attack, he is now blind in his left eye. His retina was detached completely, and he was told he had a one in 100 chance that he would ever regain his vision.

After spending four-and-a-half months in hospital, he made the decision not to have additional surgeries on his hand. He said each surgery would require about six months of post-operative treatment, which he decided against.

Plumb has been out of the hospital for about four weeks and lives by himself with some assistance from home care services, who come to his house four times a day to ensure he takes his medication. He also has help once a week for cleaning.

“I wasn’t too worried (in hospital). The thing is, it was a bit hard to take with the loss of my eye and hand, but with medication, I came out of it. I (did lose) my driver’s licence.”

As for his attacker, Plumb notes he gave a good description to the police and adds he doesn’t want to seek revenge on the individual.

“I just would like to see him off the street. As long as he’s off the street, that’s good. I’m just grateful it wasn’t my daughter who got the blade.”

Comox Valley RCMP spokesperson Monika Terragni says for the last six months, investigators from the detachment’s Major Crime Unit have been diligently gathering evidence and following up on leads.

“Every investigation is unique in the challenges it may present and this one is no different. The time required to complete an investigation is based on many factors, including the nature and complexity of the allegations and the characteristics of the evidence trail.”

She adds the assault remains an active priority for the unit and investigators are dedicated to solving the crime.

Plumb credits the RCMP, first responders, his family and “practically everyone in the city” for the support he has received.

A crowdfunding campaign (now disabled) was created shortly after the attack; more than $31,000 was raised to assist Plumb in his medical recovery.

Now at home, Plumb is not letting the incident slow him down, despite not being able to drive.

“I wasn’t just home for Christmas, I went to my grandson’s place in Port McNeill,” he adds enthusiastically.

RCMP is asking the public for anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 250-338-1321.



photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An acre of the former ‘Bus Garage’ property has been sold to Naked Naturals Whole Foods Ltd. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Qualicum Beach sells prime downtown property to Naked Naturals for $2.75M

Town to retain more than an acre of land for development of public amenities

Parksville city hall sign. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville city council approves 2021 workplan

Public input still sought on municipal budget and financial plan

Colin Springford expressed his thanks following a birthday truck parade that was held for him on his 75th birthday on April 10, 2020. (Submitted photo)
Longtime Nanoose Bay farmer Colin Springford dies at age 75

‘He will be deeply missed, always loved and never forgotten’

Nicole Shaw, left, and Sekoya Dawn next to their respective works at the Qualicum Arts Supply and Gallery in Qualicum Beach. The art will be on display until the end of February. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Acrylic artists display work in Qualicum Beach

Nicole Shaw and Sekoya Dawn both featured at Qualicum Arts Supply and Gallery

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

RCMP officers provide policing for 63 B.C. municipalities under a provincial formula based on population. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. communities warned of upcoming RCMP unionization costs

Starting salaries for city police officers are 30% higher

(Pxhere)
B.C. nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

Most Read