Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Natasha McShane’s family struggle to pay her medical bills

The family of Natasha McShane have said they are struggling with her mounting hospital bills.

The young woman from Co Armagh had just completed her masters qualification at the University of Illinois in Chicago when she was savagely beaten over the back of the head with an aluminum baseball bat on April 23.

Ms McShane (23) was left bleeding and unconscious with life-threatening head injuries.

Her cousin Aislinn Clarke said: “She's not really able to talk properly. She's had a portion of her brain removed in surgery to remove pressure and it was the part that controls speech. There's a good chance she'll make a full recovery but it could take a long time.

“She was always very ambitious and determined and I think she's definitely a fighter. She has a great spirit and I think that will help her.”

Ms McShane's parents, who are in Chicago with her, intend to bring her back to Northern Ireland and are hoping to see her at a rehabilitation centre in Belfast within the next couple of months.

“There's no way that her parents can cope with what they're going to owe. They can't cope with what they already owe.

“I don't want people to forget. She's still in trouble. She's slipped off the radar a bit media-wise, but just because she's recovered doesn't mean the financial worries are over.”

Ms Clarke has organised a fundraiser for her cousin that is to take place at the Black Box in Belfast on Thursday. The line-up includes Belfast bands like Jackson Cage, Kitty and the Can Openers, Uber Glitterati and Cara Cowen. Admission will be £5 and the doors open at 8pm.

Over $70,000 has been raised already through efforts in Chicago.

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