Bucktown bat attack victim back in N. Ireland

July 12, 2010 2:57:41 PM PDT
Natasha McShane's grandmother said the 23-year-old is getting ready for brain surgery in Belfast.

"She looks good. She was glad to see, I was glad to see her. A bit emotional, but delighted to have her close to home," said Bernadette McShane.

Natasha was critically injured with a bat during a robbery in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood in April. On Saturday, the University of Illinois at Chicago graduate student arrived in her native Northern Ireland, where she will undergo brain surgery and therapy. Natasha is now walking with help, according to her grandmother, but having trouble talking.

"She will need a lot of therapy, I imagine, in regards to her speech, said Bernadette McShane. Bernadette said while she can't talk, she is sure her granddaughter recognized her during a visit over the weekend.

Natasha was flown from Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to a Belfast hospital on Saturday. She is expected to have surgery in the next few days, according to her grandmother, to replace bone that was removed to relieve pressure on her brain. She will then be transferred to another hospital for therapy.

"Everybody's delighted, all the neighbors, everybody," said Bernadette about the fact that Natasha is now an hour's drive from her home. "We couldn't thank Chicago enough for the generosity. For the hospitals, for the medical care she received, we'll be entirely grateful for that."

Two people- Heriberto Viramontes and Marcy Cruz- have been charged in the brutal beating of Natasha and friend, Stacy Jurich.

Jurich, 24, is recovering in Chicago. Several fundraisers have been held for both victims.


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