By Juli McDonald

WORCESTER (CBS) – A 26-year-old Marine veteran was stabbed in the eye while defending a woman during a fight in Worcester. Tyler Ferrara’s mother said he has a long recovery ahead.

“Ever since he was little, he always wanted to help that person – his friends, a stranger; always there to help you, no matter what went wrong,” Tyler’s mother Tammy said.

It was that desire to help, that selflessness that drove Tyler Ferrara to jump right in when a fight broke out on Winter Street in Worcester; his family says a woman was getting hurt.

Tyler Ferrara (Family photo)

“All this stuff happens on Saturday night and his life is changed now,” Tammy said.

The Marine veteran was stabbed in the face. Police say a Worcester man, Jason Rennie, now faces multiple charges including armed assault to murder.

“He sliced his eye right in half. Tyler went to UMass Memorial and then Mass Eye and Ear. He has severe eye trauma,” Tammy said. “He cannot see out of that eye right now. His life is altered. Can’t go to school, can’t go to work, can’t drive, can’t pick up his 2-year-old son.”

The 26-year-old humbly objects to the GoFundMe set up by his friends – but he is a young father, and he’ll need more surgeries on his eye.

“Hopefully this man will stay in jail and my son will get his vision back. We have a long road ahead of us,” Tammy said.

The mother knows this violent attack may have changed parts of her son’s life… but that nothing could change who he is.

“Would he do it again? Yes he would,” Tammy said. “Yes he would. Absolutely.”

Juli McDonald