A relative of Tom Niland has told how that the OAP may not have any recognition of people or even know his own name if he emerges from a coma.
Michael Walsh revealed his cousin Tom has made "reflex movements" in Sligo University Hospital, but medics have warned not to get their hopes up.
Bachelor Tom, 73, opened his front door at 7pm on January 18 to three masked thugs who stormed in and beat him to a pulp, repeatedly stamping on his head.
Although he was speaking in the days following the attack at his home in Skreen, Sligo, his brain kept swelling and his condition worsened.
Michael told the Irish Mirror: "The chances are that he wouldn't have any recognition of people or may not be able to remember his own name.
"That would be worse for everybody really. Tom would not be wouldn't want to be like that."
There has been some signs from Tom in hospital, but medics are telling the family to keep grounded.
He added: "They refer to them as reflex movements. When we see something and we get excited but they are saying, 'hold on a minute, I don't want you to get the wrong idea'.
"They're going by experience and what they've seen before in a car accident or something like that.
"People are getting the hopes up and someone could be gone the next morning. You just don't know."
The three-man gang who attacked Tom left him with a smashed eye socket and broke seven of his ribs before making off with between €600 and €800.
Brave Tom - who could not see because his eyes were so swollen - managed to crawl from his house to the roadside and a passerby raised the alarm.
Those closest to him fear the worst but they are continuing the fight with Tom.
Michael said: "They keep saying please don't get your hopes up.
"But then, you do. What can you do when you see a sign.
"But they're the experts, they've seen this before, they've seen people come around to a certain extent and live in a home and not even aware that they exist. Anything beyond that is a bonus."
He added: "The hope is still there that we could get him back to the way he was or even half way there.
"And of course, if it has to go that he needs care, then we'll be there."
Gardai remain on the hunt for the three criminals who carried out the barbaric attack and have carried out searches with help from locals in the community.
Anyone with information can contact Sligo Garda Station on 071 915 7000, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.