The family of Ballycastle backpacker Patrick Lyttle faces an agonising wait to see if he will recover fully after being knocked unconscious, allegedly by his brother Barry, according to reports from Australia.
Patrick (31) left in June last year to tour Australia, and after Christmas he was joined by his dad Oliver and brother Barry (33).
However, during an incident on a night out Patrick received a severe head injury when he fell to the ground and has been in hospital since.
His brother Barry was charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm, but was bailed to be at his brother's bedside.
Earlier this month Patrick came out of a coma.
A source at St Vincent's Hospital in Australia told a Sydney newspaper that the Lyttle family now faces a long wait to see if Patrick fully recovers from a brain injury.
"It's too early for doctors to say. The only way they will know he's not going to recover fully is if his progression stops. It could be 18 months," the source said.
The report said it will also be two-to-four weeks before Patrick can communicate well enough with police to tell them whether he can remember the incident and what led up to it.
A St Vincent's spokeswoman said Patrick is in a stable condition and has been moved from the intensive care unit to a ward.