WILTON, Calif. (KTXL) -- More than a year after he was brutally beaten with a hammer, a Sacramento County man and his wife began finding closure while awaiting his attacker's sentencing.
A photograph of himself in a hospital bed is not someone 45-year-old Sebastian Vazquez said he recognizes. Instead, he said he knows himself as a husband of nearly 20 years, a father to four children, and a handyman who enjoyed fishing and commanding the dance floor.
“I was good but I’m not anymore,” he told FOX40.
It has been 15 months since a co-worker attacked Vazquez with a hammer in Wilton, nearly taking his life.
“I got to the hospital, I asked for him and the receptionist said, ‘The chaplain will be with you,’” said Vazquez’s wife, Gloria.
Gloria said she feared she would be making funeral arrangements until she saw a glimpse of hope.
“I called his name and he turned and I knew he was there, he was fighting,” she recalled. “And that night I kept telling him, ‘You can’t leave me, you can't. You can't leave me, I've got all these kids. We still got two kids to raise.’ And that’s when I saw a teardrop come out of his eyes.”
And he did fight. After more than a month in the hospital, Sebastian came home and was surrounded by the people he loves most.
But behind the physical scars are the emotional ones. Once the breadwinner of the family, Sebastian can no longer work and has trouble communicating.
“It was always me and him, me and him to do whatever we had to do,” Gloria said. “It was always me and him. Now it’s just me.”
He said he is grateful to his wife, who hasn’t left his side.
Together they will sit in a Sacramento courtroom Friday to face his attacker, Jose Gardea, for a sentencing hearing.
“I show him pictures and I go, ‘Look, he did this to you.’ And he gets angry,” Gloria said.
The Vazquezes said the district attorney accepted Gardea’s guilty plea. With that, he could face more than 25 years in prison for attempted murder with the eligibility of parole.
The family said they hope he never gets the chance to hurt anyone else.
“And when his parole hearing comes, you can bet me and my kids are going to be there,” Gloria told FOX40.