McShane family hope to have Natasha home soon

Natasha McShane, the Silverbridge girl whose mum Sheila hails from Cox's Demesne, is expected to finally return home this week after nine months in hospital.

Natasha McShane, the Silverbridge girl whose mum Sheila hails from Cox's Demesne, is expected to finally return home this week after nine months in hospital.

The 23-year-old was attacked with a baseball bat by muggers in Chicago in April and spent several weeks on life support having suffered appalling head injuries during the unprovoked attack.

The UCD student, whose grandparents Liam and Deirdre Stewart live locally along with several of her uncles, aunts and cousins, was brought back from Chicago in July after months of rehabilitation in the US. Since then she has continued to recover at Belfast's Musgrave Park Hospital but her family are hopeful she will be able to return to her home in Silverbridge in the coming days or weeks.

Her grandmother Bernadette McShane said this week: "I'm praying she'll get home, even if it's just for one day in the New Year.

"We were hoping she'd be home at Christmas but she suffered a setback. "She now faces a major operation during which a metal plate will be fitted in her head but I'm hoping she'll be allowed home for a day before that."

Natasha's dad Liam said the past number of months had been difficult for the family but admitted the Christmas period was particularly hard for everyone.

"All we wanted was for her to be able to sit at the Christmas table with us this year but it's not been a good few weeks for her.

"She was suffering seizures before Christmas and she had to have another head operation. It's awful," he said.

Liam and Sheila make the trip to Musgrave Park every day to visit Natasha with their large extended families also regular visitors.

Heriberto Viramontes (31) and his girlfriend Marcy Cruz (25) have been charged with armed robbery and aggravated battery in connection with the attack, which also resulted in injuries for Natasha's friend, who was with her at the time.