Now for the first time, the Toronto Star newspaper has revealed the nightmare that almost killed Chris Channon.
It appears to be a previously unreported attack on a tourist in Thailand that almost passed without notice.
According to thestar.com: ''Just four months ago, the 50-year-old father was flown home to Toronto paralysed from the neck down after being attacked and left for dead on a Thai beach.
''From his hospital bed back then, Channon vowed to the Star he would walk out the hospital's front doors. On Thursday afternoon he did just that.
''Channon, formerly a humanitarian aid worker in Africa, was injured when he was hit in the back of the neck with a steel pipe as he wandered along a beachfront trail in Koh Lipe.
''He spent an entire night sprawled on the sand, paralysed, as mosquitoes and fire ants gnawed his flesh and stray dogs licked his face.
''Lying just metres from the water's edge, Channon could hear the waves coming closer, but his feeble cries for help went unanswered.
''Around dawn the next day, Channon was transported to a health centre on a piece of plywood on the sidecar of a police motorcycle.
''He was then taken via speedboat to a hospital in Hat Yai, where he underwent emergency surgery.
''When Channon arrived back in Toronto in September, he was diagnosed as an incomplete quadriplegic, meaning he might one day regain movement through intensive rehabilitation.''
Now, that day has come, the newspaper reports.
''Chris Channon smiled as he shuffled out of the hospital doors, his arms hanging limply by his sides, his fingers slightly curled.
''He took 12 small steps, slowly turned around, lifted his head and laughed as he yelled 'Freedom!' into the wintry air.''
Phuketwan wonders how many other cases like this one escape media attention in Thailand.
Phuket readers will recall similarities with the case of American Jonathan Mark Lemley, 28, who was found in a coma on Karon beach. A local youth owned up for that offence.
There appears to be no clue as to who almost killed Chris Channon. He is struggling to regain use of his arms but managed to scratch his nose one day recently.
The sound of lapping water still makes him panic: ''He is yet to come to terms with the horrible night he spent on the beach in Koh Lipe.''
Toronto Star's Report: