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Dignan looks back on stabbing ordeal one month after brawl

Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012

Updated: Thursday, March 1, 2012 23:03

Nathan Dignan, a UNH sophomore who was stabbed once in the arm and once in the torso after a brawl earlier this semester, reflected approximately one month later on the incident that left him hospitalized for days.

Dignan was also arrested for simple assault on Feb. 16 in an unrelated event to the stabbing incident, UNH Director of Public Safety Paul Dean said in a previous article in The New Hampshire.

The stabbing, however, occurred in late January. Dignan said that the experience changed his life in more ways than one.

"Looking back on the incident, it is still hard tobelieve that it happened to me out of all the people that go to UNH," Dignan said of the assault.

"It's kind of like one of those things where most people think ‘That'll never happen to me,' including myself, and then it does. I am just thankful for the fact that I survived the incident and get to return to normal after a couple months of healing. I have a newly learned respect for life," he added.

On Jan. 28, at 1:26 a.m., a fight broke out on Strafford Avenue near Edgewood Road and UNH's Adams Tower West. Dignan was stabbed in the left arm and abdomen with a hunting knife. He and one other UNH student were sent to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital for treatment following the assault.

"My recovery has been going pretty well, and everything is healing as expected except for my arm," Dignan said. "The stab wound on my left arm caused significant damage to the nerves in my arm extending down to my hand, causing me to lose the feeling in half of my left hand. I have surgery on March 2, which will hopefully fix the damage and give me feeling back in my hand. Once that is taken care of I'm hoping to be fully recovered within a month and a half."

Along with his physical pain, Dignan has found it difficult emotionally to get back in his regular routine.

"One of the hardest parts of this whole incident has been trying to catch up with my classes and making up the work I missed," Dignan said. "Emotionally, the thought of possibly losing my life pops into my head and I think of all the people I would have lost and my family, but at the same time it makes me truly love and appreciate my family and friends and everything I have in life."

For Dignan, the brawl serves as a sober reminder for UNH students.

"I hope a lot of other kids on campus [realize] that fighting just isn't worth it anymore, because you never know who's carrying what and who is intentionally going to try and hurt or kill you," Dignan said.

"Anything can happen, and trust me - it definitely isn't worth finding out the hard way."

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Sun Mar 4 2012 17:13
This could be the worst written article I have ever seen.... bring up the fact that he was arrested a month later for assault, and not ask him to talk about it?
Sat Mar 3 2012 12:56
Terrible job on behave of the writer. I completely agree with JL on this one.
Fri Mar 2 2012 16:05
Seriously? We're pretending this guy is a victim? Where is the rest of the story?

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