My dad's iPhone 6S froze on the Apple logo this morning and would periodically turn on and off but never go past the logo. It never prompted him to say it was going to update or anything the night before. We recently tried to restore it using the recovery mode + iTunes on a computer method, and at one point a dialog box appeared saying that if the iPhone could not be updated, it would be restored to factory settings. The update finished downloading and installed on the phone, and it completely wiped it.
iTunes never prompted us that the phone couldn't be updated/would entirely wipe, and now he is missing 5-6 years of photos, contacts, etc. He had the basic iCloud plan that comes with all iPhones and surely would have exhausted all of the available space with a mix of photos, messages, etc. However, when we tried to restore data from his iCloud account, it said that there were no backups available, and no backup was created on the computer used to update it. He still has all of his Notes pages, voicemails and recent calls. The only thing I could think of would be that the iCloud account he was previously using was under a different email, but he doesn't think it was.
If this is not the case and there is truly nothing he can restore from his iCloud account, is he screwed as far as data recovery goes?