Debilitating headaches, memory problems, a lost sense of smell and the halt to a promising professional soccer career were the cost of Cameron Holzheimer being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Mr Holzheimer was walking along King Street in Newcastle, minding his own business on the night of April 20, 2018, when he was knocked unconscious by Joel Mitchell Worlin in a one-punch attack.
The Lake Macquarie Roosters defender hit his head on the concrete and spent five days in John Hunter Hospital's intensive care unit with what doctors described as severely traumatic brain injuries.
Worlin, who fled the scene after striking the blow, was sentenced on Monday to a maximum of four years and 10 months in jail for the unprovoked attack.
The assault was "as cowardly as you can get", Newcastle District Court Judge Roy Ellis said.
Mr Holzheimer's sister Brooke read to the court a victim impact statement penned by her brother, in which he described the ongoing physical symptoms, financial strain of not being able to work for a period of time, emotional turmoil his family suffered and the depression he sunk into in the weeks following the attack.
"I have no feelings for the guy who hit me," he said in the statement.
"No hate, no thoughts, no anger and no care for him. He means nothing to me.
"I just need him to know that his one stupid punch has left many scars that can't be seen, knocked back my dream career and changed me forever and affected my family in terrible ways."
Mr Holzheimer has no memory of the weeks after the coward punch. He has lived in fear of further brain bleeds and was "a confused mess for the first few months of recovery".
He had bouts of memory loss that prompted him to set reminders in his phone to remember simple tasks like hanging out the washing.
"I have also lost my sense of smell," he said.
"This may seem insignificant, however I've lost the ability to smell a barbecue, my girlfriend's perfume, the smell of the ocean and just about everything else."
The court heard Worlin was two years into a three year good behaviour bond for watching associates bash an innocent 18-year-old in the bathroom at Finnegan's Hotel in 2013 when he punched Mr Holzheimer.
Within the back-dated jail term Judge Ellis handed down on Monday, he included shorter prison sentences for breaching the bond and possessing a prohibited weapon - knuckledusters, which were not used in the attack on Mr Holzheimer.
He will serve a non-parole period of two and a half years.
After the sentencing on Monday, Mr Holzheimer told the Newcastle Herald it was "good to put it all to bed".