A cousin of pensioner Tom Niland, who was left in a coma following an assault at his home in Co Sligo, says his slight improvement is "wonderful".
Mr Niland was taken to hospital with serious injuries after the aggravated burglary on January 18th.
He was left with serious head and upper body injuries after the attack, during which a sum of money was stolen.
The 73-year-old was living alone but was able to crawl to the roadside and alert passing drivers on the N59.
Tom's cousin, Michael, told Lunchtime Live he is showing some signs of improvement.
"It's very small progress, he's opened his eye - he can't open the other one, because as you know they smashed his eye.
"We can't really tell what he can see because he can't speak to us.
"He is on life support, he's been on life support all along, and he just nods when I ask him can he hear me.
"But if I ask does he know who I am there's no response from him, so we think he may not even know where he is.
"He can't move from the neck down, but the fact is that he's opened his eye."
'It is wonderful'
Michael says they will take any positive they can get.
"We're always afraid because we were at one stage there where they were talking about having to maybe turn off life support - that there was no brain stem activity.
"And that was terrifying to think that we'd have to come to a decision there.
"So when you think about that it is wonderful".
And he says the progress is going in the right direction.
"It's nothing major, but at least it hasn't gone the other way.
"He's still just one step away from death, if you want to put it that way.
"His blood pressure and so on is very irregular; they've said that he could have a stroke or something.
"He's still critical.
"There has been that slight improvement - it may seem very small to most people, but it is a positive step".
However he says while he is conscious, the family are uncertain what comes next.
"We know he's conscious because he's responding now when you ask 'Can you hear me?'
"He's acknowledging, he's nodding his head, so that means he's not unconscious - if you know what I mean.
"And his eye, when people walk around the bed, his eye kind of follows the shadows.
"But we're not out of the woods by any means".