The renowned American surgeon who was allegedly brutally bashed by a gang of youths as he left the Australian Open has forgiven the violent attackers.
Dr Edmund Pribitkin told Nine News his face became detached from his skull in the senseless attack, which saw five teenagers charged.
Not looking down on Australia, Dr Pribitkin said it was something that could happen to anyone – anywhere.
The renowned American surgeon (pictured left with his family) who was brutally bashed by thugs as he left the Australian Open has forgiven the violent attackers
Dr Edmund Pribitkin (pictured) was brutally bashed by a group of teenagers as he walked through Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens with his son, 17, on Wednesday
Not looking down on Australia after the violent attack, Dr Pribitkin (left) said it was something that could happen to anyone (son Edik, 17, pictured right was also attacked)
Edik’s (far right) mother Yvette (centre) flew to Australia after hearing about the violent attack on her husband
‘This is a random act, it can happen anywhere in the world,’ he told Nine News.
‘It is a magical city, you have some of the friendliest folks on earth here … we’ll certainly be back.’
The US surgeon and his 17-year-old son, Edik, came to Australia for a trip of a lifetime to watch the Australian Open for the first time.
Things turned ugly when the duo were approached by a group in the city’s Queen Victoria Gardens about 11.30pm on Wednesday night.
‘My face was broken into pieces and separated from my skull,’ Dr Pribitkin said.
Edik said the group had initially asked for cigarettes before demanding the family’s belongings and allegedly bashing his father.
Dr Pribitkin (left) and Edik (right) are both avid tennis fans and had travelled from the US to Melbourne for the Australian Open
After the initial blows to the face, Dr Pribitkin was hit to the ground, where he says he continued to be assaulted until people intervened to save him.
The father and son were rushed to the Alfred Hospital, where Edik spent three nights and his father, whose injuries were so bad he was placed into an induced coma, spent four.
Dr Pribitkin now has titanium plates holding his face together.
As he spoke with Nine News, dark bruising and swelling on the physician’s face was evident.
Photographs taken while he was in hospital show tape on his upper nose and the sides of his eyes.
On the bridge of his nose is a splint, supported above and below his nostrils.
Dr Pribitkin had his face smashed and was rushed to the Alfred Hospital, where he spent four nights
As he recovered from the attack. the esteemed surgeon, who attended medical school and lived with Dr Oz, shared a poignant and positive post to his Facebook.
In the post, he thanked the police and first responders who ‘literally saved my life and that of my son’.
He also thanked Tennis Australia and the International Tennis Federation, who organise of the Australian Open, for putting on ‘the world’s safest and friendliest slam’.
‘We will return to this amazing event,’ he said.
The Pribitkin family are hoping to begin their journey home to the United States on Sunday.
The 57-year-old now has titanium plates holding his face together (pictured: Dr Pribitkin’s injuries five days after the attack)