Seffron Holroyd had seen stories of coward punches on the news before, but she never thought it would happen to her family.
In the backyard at a Lavington party, her stepson Michael Callesen was talking to a friend when he felt the impact. The forceful blow from behind connected with the 19-year-old's right jaw.
“I felt it, but I was confused afterwards,” Michael said.
Michael, who moved to Thurgoona from Washington in the US two years ago, said he had earlier attempted to introduce himself to the man who had punched him but the man had been aggressive and his later attack had been totally unprovoked.
“I just kind of took it,” Michael said.
At the time, Michael did not realise how much damage had been done. He skateboarded home on the night of Saturday September 3.
By Monday he was in Albury Hospital and two days later, he underwent a six-hour surgery in Melbourne.
Michael sustained several fractures and now has one metal plate in his jaw on the right side, two on the left side and 12 screws holding them all in place.
His diet will be made up of food the consistency of mashed potato for about four more weeks.
We are paying a heavy price for someone else’s uncontrollable actions.Seffron Holroyd
Ms Holroyd labelled the offender a coward.
“It’s easy to think that won’t happen to me or my family,” she said.
“Now we are paying a heavy price for someone else’s uncontrollable actions.
“This one act has ruined our lives.
“Please parents, ask your teenagers to be careful and vigilant around people they don't know, because for now this young man is still out there in Albury-Wodonga.”
That one punch has prevented Michael from skateboarding competitions and from working with his father.
It has also had major financial implications for the family. The couple have a new born baby and support six children and step-children.
Chris, who owns a painting business, had to put off a job to be in Melbourne with his son.
“Michael saw the guy walking towards him, he looked away at his friend who he was talking to, then copped it to the chin,” he said.
“The guy came running, took three or four steps, like a superman punch.
“When you're not even looking and someone punches you – that's just not on.
“He has been in an incredible amount of pain.
“Those coward hits are so dangerous. People have died and ended up with brain damage from them before.
“I hope the police get this guy and put him in prison.”
Albury Police said an investigation into the incident was ongoing.