Friends of Natasha McShane have launched a fundraising drive for the Armagh woman’s recovery following a baseball attack in Chicago, three years ago, that left her unable to walk and talk.
McShane’s friends, from Our Lady’s Grammar School in Newry, have set up a fundraising drive through their website TimeforTasha.com where well wishers can donate money towards the Armagh woman’s rehabilitation or send her a message of support.
Earlier this month Marcy Cruz, who drove the getaway car for the attacker, Heriberto Viramontes, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for her part in the crime. Viramontes will face trial in September.
McShane was beaten around the head and back when she was attacked on her way home from a night out with her friend Stacy Jurich. Her friend, who managed to raise the alarm that night, has recovered from her injuries.
The Dublin College University student, who was 23 at the time, was left fighting for her life. She was placed in a drug induced coma by US doctors and part of her skull was temporarily removed due to brain swelling.
She was transferred back to Ireland three months into her recovery and at the time seemed to be making progress. However after a procedure in Belfast she contracted an infection which set back her recovery.
McShane now lives at home in Silverbridge, County Armagh, under the care of her family.
The website TimeforTasha.com states that it was “created by past pupils of Our Lady’s Grammar School to publicise our campaign to raise money to improve Natasha McShane’s quality of life.”
The Irish Mirror reports that the money collected will be used to get McShane a place at the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin. The facility specializes in brain injury treatment and rehabilitation services.
In April her father, Liam, told Armaghi.com, “Everyone just assumed Natasha got better.
“The fact is, she didn’t. She can’t walk, she can’t talk and we have no idea what is going on inside her head.
“She isn’t OK and she needs help.”
He believes that rehab would help McShane’s recovery. He added, “In Chicago there was 24/7 rehab, compared to here, where she goes to a day centre twice a week.
“We have a private physiotherapist but that is all she gets. She needs more.
“We just can’t sit here and do nothing. I want to do whatever it takes to help my daughter.
“I don’t think of the future if she doesn’t get better.
“The only future I think of is her making a full recovery. You have to hang on by