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Student in coma after Chicago assault opens her eyes

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Brian Cowen with Natasha McShane receiving her bursary schiolarship.

Brian Cowen with Natasha McShane receiving her bursary schiolarship.

Alan Lewis

Natasha McShane was hit from behind by a thug wielding a baseball bat in USA

Natasha McShane was hit from behind by a thug wielding a baseball bat in USA

Alan Lewis

Suspect Marcy Cruz was released on $1m bail

Suspect Marcy Cruz was released on $1m bail

Charged: Heriberto Viramontes

Charged: Heriberto Viramontes

Natasha McShane (2nd from right)

Natasha McShane (2nd from right)

Alan Lewis

Natasha McShane

Natasha McShane

Alan Lewis

Alan Lewis - Photopress Belfast    24-4-2010Natasha McShane who was hit from behind by a thug wielding a baseball bat in USA and is now fighting for her life, Her parents from Silverbridge in South Armagh have flown out to be with her.

Alan Lewis - Photopress Belfast 24-4-2010Natasha McShane who was hit from behind by a thug wielding a baseball bat in USA and is now fighting for her life, Her parents from Silverbridge in South Armagh have flown out to be with her.

Alan Lewis

Natasha McShane from Silverbridge in south Armagh

Natasha McShane from Silverbridge in south Armagh

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Brian Cowen with Natasha McShane receiving her bursary schiolarship.

A Northern Irish student left battling for her life after a brutal baseball bat attack in America has opened her eyes.

Natasha McShane (23) from Silverbridge, south Armagh, had been in a coma for 10 days after being assaulted and robbed while walking home from a night out in Chicago.

But the former Queen’s University graduate opened her eyes for a few moments for the first time on Saturday to see her concerned parents Liam and Sheila by her bedside.

And last night Natasha’s grandmother Bernadette McShane told the Belfast Telegraph doctors believed she was making good progress.

“She has been opening her eyes briefly and then closing them again and opening them for a short while,” Mrs McShane said.

“They are trying to reduce the drugs that have her in a coma, so she has been opening her eyes but she’s not focusing on anything or moving any of her limbs yet.

“The doctors maintain that this is only day two of the recovery and that she’s making good progress.

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“I would say she has an awful lot still to do but knowing Natasha she has a good fight in her.

“Liam, Sheila and her aunt Caroline are all at her bedside and they have all pictures of the family around her. Her sister Carla flew out last night so she’ll be there too. We have to be thankful for every glimmer of hope. Maybe this will be the start of a good week.”

Natasha and her 24-year-old friend Stacy Jurich were attacked as they walked home from a night of celebrations on April 23.

A man and a woman have appeared in court charged in connection with the attack.

Heriberto Verimontes (31), who is accused of aggravated battery and robbery, was denied bail when he appeared before a Chicago court last Wednesday. His 25-year-old girlfriend Marcy Cruz is accused of driving him to the scene of the crime.


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