The punishment for the man who "king hit" Jordan Diffey will end in six months, but Jordan feels he has been left with a life sentence.
Now 25, Jordan was with friends at the Molotov Nightclub in January last year when he was attacked without provocation by 18-year-old Diquan Oka-Murray.
Oka-Murray was sentenced to six months' home detention in the Wellington District Court last week after previously pleading guilty to injuring Mr Diffey.
Meanwhile, Jordan, who was a builder working with his father Craig Diffey at the time, has been trying to get his life back together while struggling to deal with the after-effects of a major head injury. He was lucky to have survived, his parents Tania and Craig told the Chronicle.
Their son was in a coma and fighting for his life when they arrived at hospital after the "shocking" call, telling them to get to the hospital as Jordan's condition was deteriorating fast.
Jordan sustained a fractured skull and three brain bleeds.
Moments after this parents arrived he was air-lifted to Wellington Hospital for "life-saving surgery".
They were dealing with Mrs Diffey's father's death days before the assault on Jordan.
"We had managed to get Jordan's grandparents to go to Wellington from Levin because we didn't want Jordan to die alone," said Mrs Diffey.
"We arrived and got to see our son in a chaotic environment. Doctors said his chances of survival were slim."
All the couple could to was wait to hear if their eldest of two sons would pull through.
They were not allowed to touch or talk to him "to allow Jordan's brain to rest". Their only contact was supposed to be kissing him goodnight.
"Sometimes I would hold his hand anyway. I just wanted to give him strength to help him survive," said Mrs Diffey.
Jordan deteriorated further requiring more lifesaving surgery for a "massive brain bleed".
"We felt helpless. We were in shock. They didn't expect him to survive. I was just numb. I just sat there for hours."
Doctors said he'd be in surgery for a couple of hours but it dragged into five, leaving them fearing the worst.
"We had given up hope and started grieving for the son that we thought had died. I thought they just didn't want to come and tell us. When the doctor appeared I wouldn't look at him. I didn't want bad news," she said.
Three days later Jordan woke up but the future was uncertain, according to doctors.
But this plucky young man wasn't giving up.
Three weeks later he was transferred to Porirua for brain rehabilitation.
It has not been an easy road to recovery. Fatigue and frustration are big things for Jordan to deal with.
His rehabilitation has been getting back to work with his father.
He had built his first home just before the assault but was now finding it difficult to work an entire day without "going to the ute to have a sleep", said his father.
"He just disappears. The only rehabilitation was to get him back to work to rehabilitate at his own speed. He knows everything but it's getting it from his brain and visualising it," Mr Diffey said.
But Jordan is determined to lead as normal a life as possible.
"I can remember everything but it's organising and visualising and putting that into practice. I'm slowly getting there though.
"It's frustrating because something that used to come naturally and easily, doesn't anymore. I know I can do it but I just can't remember."
It's going to be a long, slow road ahead and Jordan knows that.
"I can see an end. I just don't know when that's going to be. I'm just coming to grips with everything one day at a time," Jordan said. "I have lots of supportive friends."