SAM Ford has come a long way.
Suffering a cruel and senseless bashing he spent 18 months in hospital recovering from his horrific injury.
But he's on the road to recovery and says he is determined to make it a full one.
Sam has launched into an art project, with his work exhibited at Cabarita Surf Club on June 2.
Part of the exhibition includes three-dimensional heads that depict his journey.
From one that has wires spewing from the top, through to one with needles and pills, they show the intensity of his medical journey.
The Face of the Sea represents life before the attack and his love of the ocean, while Puzzled: Putting the Jigsaw Back Together, reflects the process of putting his head back together.
Plugged In is his time in intensive care, while Prayers reflects the prayers of his family and Pills and Needles shows the 21 tablets and one injection he had every day for two years.
They are a poignant reflection of how he sees his journey.
Sam can't communicate on a high level verbally, but he gets his message across.
He's a very "hands-on" person.
That's probably why he had started an apprenticeship in carpentry before the bashing.
"The exhibition, Road to Recovery, is a celebration of his artistic expression through brain injury.
"It is also a celebration of his birthday and all of the hard work, determination and courage that he has had to muster over the last few years," his mum, Margaret, said.
Road to Recovery will be held at Cabarita Surf Life Saving Club, Cabarita Beach at 4pm on Saturday, June 2.