WILTON -- While he used to snuggle with his youngest daughter all the time, a moment recorded on a cell phone Sunday is the most responsive Sebastian Vazquez has been since a hammer attack to the head nearly took his life a month ago in Wilton.
"I didn't believe it," his wife Gloria said about the first time she saw him in the hospital. "I couldn't believe that was him until I saw his tattoos and they told me it was him. The doctor came out, 'We gotta do another surgery to remove part of his skull to relieve the pressure.'"
Vazquez still could not respond to commands Tuesday as he continued to struggle from all that he suffered.
His wife of 17 years says a day of doing some roofing work at a friend's ranch devolved into chaos because of Jose Gardea, an acquaintance of her husband. Gardea had dinner at her home the night before the attack.
Now under arrest, at the time Gardea was acting agitated, sweating and stalking around Gloria Vazquez's yard as he waited for her husband to get ready to leave for their job the morning of July 8.
She had no inkling the behavior she saw as strange would end with him accused of beating her husband over and over with his own hammer.
Stephen Collins remembers the call he says he got from Vasquez as he was beaten.
"All you hear is screaming and you can hear a little word, 'Help,'" Collins said.
Collins was the third worker on that July job but left Wilton after he says Gardea hurt him with roofing shears on the ride there.
"I had an open cut on the inside of my lip when he hit me," he said.
Gardea did not want to talk about the day of the attack without his lawyer when FOX40 sat down with him at the Sacramento County Main Jail. He did describe how he's been feeling over the last month.
"I feel like I was just a prisoner in my own body and my own mind and right now I'm taking some medication that's kind of helping me," Gardea said.
Gloria Vazquez says when she visited him behind bars he told her "he was mentally unstable and drugs on top of it." But as the daughter of a once-incarcerated father and now the wife of a crime victim, she could only tell him, "I want to hate you but I can't. I want to wish you bad but I can't."
Sebastian Vazquez is the father of four kids, ages 16, 15, 11 and 3.
His wife has not been able to work since he was attacked. She just began a new job with Amazon this year.
If you'd like to help their family, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with living expenses and medical costs.