The 13-year-old girl injured in an horrific machete attack will have to learn to walk again, her family have revealed.
Geraldine Maughan was trying to protect her baby nephew when she was stabbed by a gang of men at her home in Trasna Way in Lisnakea, Co Fermanagh at around 9pm on Saturday.
She threw herself on top of her 11-month-old nephew as a "laughing" middle-aged man struck her with a blade.
It is understood Geraldine required 300 stitches for her wounds.
Her sister Pauline (20), the baby's mother, told how air was leaking from Geraldine's back as she tried to breathe after the vicious assault.
"Her lung collapsed right away. The way she has been cut means she can't walk now and has to learn to walk again," she told The Sun.
"She'll be in hospital for weeks. Her back won't be the same for about 12 months.
"She's very frightened. She was just sitting there and they just walked in and two of them started hitting at her.
"It's disgraceful, grown men doing that to a girl and baby," she added.
Police are treating the incident as attempted murder.
Elizabeth Joyce, the baby's grandmother, appealed for no retaliation.
"I think they waited and saw my lads going out of the estate and then they came," she said.
"They thought my husband would be here and came for him, but he wasn't here."
The mum-of-six, who has four sons, added: "They came through the door and two of them were attacking a 13-year-old girl, my daughter-in-law's sister.
"All of them had the machetes. I'll never forget it because that man, a grown man, was laughing as he hit that girl.
"One of them came at me and I stood up because I knew they would be slicing me up.
"I got up to stop him getting any proper hits at me. I started fighting back because the instinct for survival got in my head.
"When I started fighting back, I grabbed for a picture frame and hit him hard in the face.
"He pulled his mask up then, a balaclava, and I could see who he was. He was backing away to the door.
"The other two had black hats, but I could see their faces."
She said the men ran out to where they had left their car at the top of a hill.
Ms Joyce described Geraldine as a "legend".
"She's a hero, a fighter," she added.
"When I came back to the house, I grabbed the little fella first and checked him over and he was fine.
"Then I checked Geraldine and she was destroyed. You could see the blood spitting out of the back of the girl where her lung was split.
"I got on the phone to the boys and said 'We're cut up' and called an ambulance."
Her husband Gramsey Joyce said he was a distance away in the estate, but he "heard the screams". He believes the men wanted to kill him.
PSNI detective sergeant Keith Monaghan said police were determined to find those responsible for the attack.