Natasha McShane has spoken her first words since being brutally attacked in a Chicago neighborhood while on her way home from a night out.

Her father Liam McShane stated: "She can only whisper to us. There are good days when she speaks, then days when she doesn't. We need a miracle, please pray for her."

McShane was beaten with a baseball bat by two attackers looking for drug money as she returned home from a night out with a friend on April 23.

Friends of the family said Natasha, from Armagh and studying in Chicago, can now speak occasionally and smile -- but her  road to recovery will be very tough.

The Irish American Community, and Chicagoans in general, have voiced their deep disgust at the savage attack on the Irish student and her friend Stacey Jurich in Bucktown over a month ago.

Former Chicago alderman and Cook County sheriff Michael Sheahan said, “This happened in our city to a girl from Ireland…The story was on the BBC in England and Ireland. And that isn't a real image of Chicago – a place where a guy hits women with a baseball bat – that we want people around the world thinking Chicago is like.

“The guy who did it and his accomplice are not true Chicago people. Chicagoans reject that type of behavior…We'll show the world that when something like this happens, the good people coalesce together and want to do something for the girl.”

McShane, who took the worst of the beating around the back and head has a long road to recovery, remains in a rehabilitation facility.

Sheahan was so upset by the vicious attack on the Irish student that has gathered high ranking friends to organize the fundraiser event for McShane which will take place at the Local 399 Operating Engineers Event Hall on Friday, June 13.

All of the proceeds from the event will go towards paying her medical bills and her parents expenses.

Included in the guest list are Major Daley, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and James Tyree, chairman of the Chicago Sun-Times.

In fact, this week a Sun-Times columnist blamed the rate of violent crime on the streets of Chicago on the lack of police presence.

Mary Mitchell commented on the fact that last Saturday 20 people were wounded and one man was shot in the head in Chicago over a 12-hour period.

She criticized Mayor Daley who had said “You cannot have America as the Wild West,” promising that the crime situation in Chicago would be policed.

Mitchell said, “When two young women are brutally beaten and robbed by a criminal wielding a baseball bat in Bucktown, as were Stacy Jurich and Natasha McShane, it is the Wild West.”

She called for “more police officers in squad cars on the lakefront and in the parks. We need more officers patrolling on motorcycles, bicycles and on foot.”

To donate to the Natasha McShane fund visit