One year after she was struck by a baseball bat in a robbery in Chicago, Armagh, Northern Irelandwoman Natasha McShane has made very little progress from her brain injury.
The Chicago Sun Times reports that Natasha’s father, Liam, now second guesses the decision to bring Natasha back to Ireland as she “she had setbacks from Day One....If this happened again,” Liam said, “we wouldn’t go home.”
On April 23rd last year, Natasha, a 23-year-old exchange student in Chicago was attacked outside a bar in the Bucktown section.
Prosecutors allege Cruz pointed out the women to Viramontes, who then attacked them. Natasha, 4ft 9” and only 100 pounds was severely beaten.
There was massive coverage of the case at the time and over $500,000 was raised for Natasha’s treatment.
Now after making progress while under treatment in Chicago she has regressed since returning to Ireland says her father.
She is incapable of feeding or caring for herself despite rapid early progress towards recovery when she was being treated in Chicago. She returned to Ireland in July and has since struggled with infections, seizures and brain shunts. Several days after a bone graft in her skull an infection occurred.
Liam says “She never really got back to where she was prior to the operation.”
“She wasn’t getting any physio [physical therapy] those weeks because she wasn’t fit,” he said.
Then seizures began to occur and liquid accumulated in her brain.
“She was getting worse and worse and worse, and then they put the right leg in a fiberglass cast. She had no power in that leg.”
It has been downhill since.
“When we left America she could walk. Not great,” he said, but she could do so with the help of therapists. Today, “She’s lost all that.
“Before we came home, she had good power in her left arm.”
Now Liam says she can’t write or use a spoon.
“Everybody wants Natasha to get better. I’m not blaming anyone,” McShane said.
But he said the US system of treating his daughter was far superior.
The McShanes say they found it very hard that they were not allowed to sleep in the room with their daughter in hospital like in Chicago. “She opened her eyes and looked over, and one of us was there all the time,” he said. That hasn’t been the case in Northern Ireland.
Does their daughter know know Sheila, her mother or Liam?
“Yeah, but sometimes, I don’t know,” he told the Sun Times.
Her friends often to visit. “We were talking to Natasha,” they’ll say.
“But they’re not talking to Natasha,” McShane said. “Natasha’s not talking to them.” And he also had a message for the people of Chicago.
“Thank them very much for all they [have] done, and for all the prayers and all the things that people gave us, and keep praying,” he said.
“She needs our prayers to get her out of it.”