Irishman Jason Cierans wakes from his coma after one-punch attack in Australia
An Irish man left fighting for his life for nine days after a brutal attack outside an Australian nightclub has regained consciousness.
Jason Cierans (29) is in a Sydney hospital where he was in an induced coma to treat brain swelling.
His first words to his astonished family were: "What are you doing here?"
Jason, from Gurranabraher in Cork city, was attacked outside a Bondi Junction nightclub on August 22.
The young man is understood to have been punched in the head and then fallen on to the concrete pavement.
His parents, Declan and Stephanie, flew to Australia immediately upon learning what had happened to their son.
"He is just a brilliant young man, he is my Jason and we are praying for his full recovery," Stephanie said.
Jason's aunt, Fidelma, admitted: "All our prayers have been answered and all our dreams have come true."
But she acknowledged that Jason now faces a long road to full recovery and may have to undergo further surgery.
"The first thing he (Jason) said was: 'What are you all doing here?' He is still very disorientated.
"He couldn't understand why he was in hospital and then he couldn't understand why he was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
"His head and his eyes are very sore and they look a bit like someone is flashing a camera light constantly on him.
"There is a chance he will need to go for a brain operation to repair the damage that was done.
"But we are absolutely jumping for joy that he is conscious. When he opened his eyes, all our prayers were answered," she said.
The attack occurred just one month before Jason was due to fly back to Cork for his first visit home in five years.
The young man moved to Australia for work at the height of Ireland's economic crisis.
Stephanie and Fidelma said their family was "deeply moved" by the support they have received and a special fundraising campaign for travel and medical expenses co-ordinated by Cork radio station RedFM.