Colin Parry wept as he told of his determination to make a life for Tim while coming to terms with the fact that his son would never be the same again.
'It's the first time we had seen anything apart from his lips. All we saw on Saturday, Sunday and yesterday was his very swollen mouth,' said Mr Parry after visiting his son in the intensive care unit of the centre for neurology and neurosurgery in Walton Hospital, Liverpool.
'We were not totally sure what Tim had left but he has a nose and his left eye is badly bruised and closed but he looked more like the Tim we know. He is not responding to our touch and we are taking it one step at a time.'
Mr Parry, 37, his wife Wendy, 35, by his side, indicated the left side of his face and said: 'We could see approximately from here across the nose and on down.'
After breaking down in tears, Mr Parry continued: 'But if he survives . . . and God willing he does . . . we want him home. We will make a life for him.'
Doctors will decide today whether Tim, who is on a life support system, is capable of breathing unaided.
Meanwhile, Wilfred Ball, whose son Johnathan died in the attack, appealed to the IRA to lay down their arms and stop killing. Mr Ball spoke of losing 'a beautiful angel', saying of his death: 'This should be the last tragedy of all.'
Speaking to journalists at Stockton Heath police station, Warrington, Mr Ball continued: 'There are no words that can fit it . . . for what they have done. They have taken my life away and my young child from me and after just three years and 10 months.'
Mr Ball, 57, said he could never forgive those responsible: 'I think they should realise now, drop everything, drop their arms now and come and sort it all out.
'This is not the way to express their religion. They can never win - they have been at it 23 years. How much longer before they get some sense into them?'
The Ball family asked to be allowed to have a quiet private funeral on Friday. The Irish Foreign Ministry will not send a representative. Johnathan's mother, Marie, 37, was too distraught to attend yesterday's news conference.
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