South Loop beating victim speaks

September 22, 2008 3:12:13 PM PDT
Jen Hall and her fiance were walking in the South Loop last month when they were attacked. The beating put her in the hospital. Now her rough recovery continues as the medical bills pile up. Two people accused of the attack appeared in court Monday. And, for the first time since the beating, Jen Hall and Joe Hoffman spoke publicly about their ordeal. ABC7's Leah Hope talked with the couple Monday.

Hall got out the hospital over a week ago. But she had another scare when she had a seizure last Monday. She struggles daily with pain and increasingly how to pay for her medical treatment. She is facing a rough recovery after surviving a brutal attack.

www.thewalkingmiracle.com
"Jennifer Hall Charitable Trust Fund"
125 E. 13th Street Unit 915
Chicago, IL 60605

Her only work right now is to heal. Jen Hall does exercises to strength and retrain her body. She was a restaurant manager who would walk 2 miles to work. But, four weeks ago, she was attacked suffering a traumatic brain injury and nerve damage in her leg.

"I kept fighting and fighting, and they were saying how it was a miracle. They didn't think I was -- even if I did make it, I would be brain dead for the rest of my life," said Hall.

It was Hall's birthday on August 25. She and her fiance left a neighborhood pub to pickup cat food at the grocery store at Wabash and 13th. As they left, they say, a man and woman asked for a cigarette. When her fiance declined, a fight broke out. It ended, they say, with the man throwing her fiance to the ground and kicking Hall in the head repeatedly.

"I never said anything. I had never seen them before," said Hall.

"I was just stunned. I don't know how many other words I can use," said Joe Hoffman, fiance.

Hall had severe swelling in her brain that required a portion of her skull to be removed. In addition, she lost 21 teeth.

Monday, Joyce Burgess and Derrick King appeared in court. They have been indicted on attempted first degree murder of Hall. They were reportedly homeless at the time of the attack.

As Burgess and King await arraignment behind bars, Hall now lives with daily pain and uncovered medical bills. Hall did not have health insurance.

"These guys are sitting behind bars, yes. But they have free medical care, free dental care, three meals a day, a free bed every night that we are all paying for," said Hoffman.

Hall says she'd often box up leftovers at her restaurant to give to homeless people she'd see on the way home. Since the attack, she says, her compassion is overshadowed by emotion.

"I love to cook. One of my things is I love is to go to the grocery store. I have no idea when the next time I will go back there," said Hall.

Hall's fiance created a website telling her story and setup a trust fund to help hall pay for the mounting medical costs

In the meantime, King and Burgess are due in court for an arraignment October 8. Hall wants to go to court, but her doctors advise against that.


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