SHARECOMMENTMORE

LAKELAND, Fla. -- A broken jaw, a busted cheekbone, andfacial fractures -- that's the thanks John Applewhite got for trying tohelp.

John is a lineman for Lakeland Electric. He went to New Yorkstate with 24 co-workers to help reconnect the power for people who werebattered by Sandy.Instead, John got battered by a stranger.

"He met me halfway between my truck and his vehicle, and just as I got within arm's reach, he decked me," said John Applewhite.

Applewhitedoesn't know why he was attacked or by whom. Police say its was a guy in a blackBMW who took off after the assault.

John's injuries were so severe he was flown back to Tampa, andis now at Lakeland Regional Medical Center confined to a hospitalbed.His recovery will be extensive, and surgery is on the list.

"They're going to put a plate in my face and wire my jaw. At leastthreesurgeons will do work on me," said John.

John's family is by his bedside.They cant believethe number of tubes, wires, and medications he has to endure.Hisfamily says the attack was a gross violation of his person and his kindheart.

"I was devastated when I got the call. John is such a sweetperson and he certainly didn't deserve this, what happened to him,"saidJohn's sister, Mary Anne.

Now, John and his family will have to deal with his jaw wiredshut for the holidays, but they sayhe will deal withthat limitation aswell.

"If he has his jaw wired shut, we will just feed him through astraw, and he'll enjoy it, " said John's father, Morris Applewhite.

SHARECOMMENTMORE