This is the stark truth Martina Cox is facing, after her husband Sean Cox was attacked before Liverpools Champions League semi-final against Roma in April, outside Anfield.
She says the attack lasted just 17 seconds. But that 17 seconds will have a lifetime effect on her 53-year-old husband, who now cannot talk, walk or sit up unaided.
Described as an “absolutely huge supporter” by his wife, Mr Cox had made a last-minute decision to travel to the match from his home in Dunboyne, Co Meath, Ireland with his brother Martin.
“Hes been supporting Liverpool all his life,” Mrs Cox said. “Sean regularly went to matches with either his brother or family, it was a very natural thing for him to do.
The father-of-three was assaulted by a Roma fan outside a pub metres from the stadium and less than an hour before kick-off.
According to Mrs Cox, her husband was struck at the back and side of the head and then he fell, receiving a third knock to the head on the ground, in what she calls a “life-changing, horrific fall”.
Roma fan Daniele Sciusco, 29, was jailed for violent disorder in August for his part in trouble outside the ground.
Last month Filippo Lombardi, 21, was cleared of assaulting Mr Cox – though he was jailed after admitting violent disorder.
The wife of Liverpool fan Sean Cox has admitted her familys life has been “turned upside down” by the attack that left her husband battling for his life with serious head injuries.
And another Roma fan appeared in court in Rome last month on suspicion of assault and has been remanded before an extradition hearing.
Recalling the moment she found out her husband had been injured, Mrs Cox said: “I got a phone call from my sister-in-law and she said Sean had a hit to the head and he was on his way to the Aintree Hospital.
“I got a call from a nurse and she explained that Sean had had a bleed on the brain and severe bruising and needed emergency surgery.
When Mrs Cox first saw her husband a few hours after the “senseless” incident, he was out of surgery and on a ventilator, heavily sedated.
“It was horrific looking at him, absolutely horrific. Your husband, just lying there lifeless. Awful really.”
Mr Cox spent the next four and a half weeks at the Walton Centre in Liverpool, a specialist neurological unit for brain injuries, before being airlifted to another specialist unit at Dublins Beaumont Hospital.
“Obviously we want the best for Sean because I think he deserves it because this shouldnt have happened and weve done everything we can in terms of fundraising.
“He was fully sedated for two weeks immediately after the attack, then it took nearly another four weeks for him to actually come around. It wasnt actually until we got to Beaumont that he had opened his eyes, but he wasnt fully conscious as such,” his wife said.
The Gaelic football fan was a keen golfer and runner before his brain injury, and was due to run the Dublin marathon in October.
“On the night, I got a phone call from my sister-in-law and she said Sean had a hit to the head and he was on his way to the Aintree Hospital.
He is now in a rehabilitation centre in Dun Laoghaire – a 40-minute drive from the family home – where he has been cared for for the past seven weeks.
“Seans started to drink as well but its all very slow and measured because theyre all very small, tiny little steps but its good progress.
“Seans started to drink as well but its all very slow and measured because theyre all very small, tiny little steps but its good progress,” Mrs Cox said.
“There are more words coming since he started to eat – that does help – but its a very long, slow process and long journey for Sean.
The lifelong Reds fan also recognises family members and Mrs Cox says it is “encouraging” to see her husband improving.
“It is difficult. There are good days and bad days, but its all about trying to get Sean to the best place and thats where Im at.
“It is difficult, there are good days and bad days, but its all about trying to get Sean to the best place and thats where Im at,” she said.
The impact on the family has been “difficult” for the couples three children – Jack, 21, Shauna, 20, and Emma, 17 – and Mrs Cox says everyday life has “completely changed”.
“I miss Sean, our children miss their dad,” she said. “Were trying to muddle through it and do the best we can. Sean would want us to get on with our lives and were trying as best we can.
“I have two kids in college and my youngest daughter is doing her leaving certificate this year so we have to get on with certain things, but its difficult.”
When asked if getting on with their lives might mean the children watching matches at Anfield, she answered: “Absolutely, yes. What happened shouldnt have happened in the first place but people have to live their lives.”
The Cox family are facing the reality that Seans recovery will need years of specialist treatment which could cost millions of pounds.
The family have received substantial donations from AS Roma, Liverpool, Evertons Seamus Coleman and Reds manager Jurgen Klopp, both of whom gave 5,000 euros (£4,400).
Football fans have been donating to a Go Fund Me page as part of the fundraising efforts, which recently hit £400,000, but government funding for care in the rehab centre is set to end in the coming weeks.
“Roma dont have any connection to Sean but they really have stepped up to the plate in terms of what they have given for the donation and they have also agreed to work with us in terms of fundraising activities going forward.”
Roma have donated an initial amount of 150,000 euros (£130,000) to help with her husbands medical and rehab costs, of which 50,000 euros was a personal donation from club president Jim Pallotta.
When asked if she would like to see something similar from Liverpool, Mrs Cox said: “You would hope so, yes… lets just wait and see, thats all I can say at this point.
“There was a bucket collection at the Cardiff match and half the funds raised were matched by the Liverpool Foundation so that was about £29,000 which is really good and were very grateful for that. Liverpool have also agreed to help with some fundraising in terms of community activity going forward so thats where were at.”
Mrs Cox has hailed the “fantastic” medical staff caring for her husband and revealed she is looking at other treatment options in the UK, Europe or America.
“Obviously we want the best for Sean because I think he deserves it, this shouldnt have happened and weve done everything we can in terms of fundraising,” she said.
“Obviously the goal is to get him home, thats what we all want, all his family want, and he belongs here with us.”